Bezel-less Screens / Monitors / TVs, LED, and 3D

Kon’nichiwa!

It’s been a while since I’ve update my blog, technology wise. Thanks to an increase of traffic to this here blog I decided to give you some details on a popular search (something I vaguely posted previously). Bezel-less TVs. It’s a geek’s wet dream to have a few of these mythical pieces of hardware. However, we are getting pretty damn close thanks to two things in particular: glass and LEDs. We’ll go over those as well as 3D technology and TVs you might be looking for.

These cardboard glasses were just so darn comfortable!

Image thanks to 3dstereopics. Check out his Flickr photostream for more fun 3D photos.

3D has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until this last year that 3D technology has progressed. You remember the good ol’ 3D days? Blue and red lenses held by that familiar cardboard frame. Oh the joy of having the cardboard dig into your nose and ears. Not to mention the wonderful headache after 2 minutes of watching anything. By the Beard of Zeus! 3D glasses were the best invention of all time! But Alas! Anaglyph 3D has been replaced by its sexier younger sister RealD 3D. RealD is based off of an advanced version of stereoscopic 3D. The lenses range from a clear to smokey color. Best part of all is that both lenses are the same color! The way RealD works is by taking two cameras and filming from two different angles. Each angle is meant to represent how each eye sees. The degree of the angle between the two cameras translates over to how your eyes convert the depth of the image. In basic terms its the difference between having a ball sitting on a table or a ball flying at your face! However its still not perfect. I’ve learned that the quality of the 3D image is still dependent on how the TV projects these two images and in turn how the glasses receive those signals. We are definitely progressing though! Thumbs up for that I suppose.

LED 10W

LED 10W

LED TVs came out just a little before RealD 3D did. This innovation has really pushed the television market into more of the HD realm than it ever was before. LEDs have also been out for a while as well. They have been used in electronics as button lights and so forth for a long time. Advance flashlights used LEDs instead of bulbs providing a longer batter life and in some cases more even and brighter lighting. Let me digress no further and delve into how LED TVs work. Lets get one thing straight to begin with: LED TVs are still LCDs. The difference is the back-lighting system and how it works. LCDs vs LED LCDs is the difference between florescent back-lighting and LED back-lighting. Florescent lighting is usually accomplished using florescent bulbs; similar to the ones you have in offices but much, much smaller. So small in comparison that they are installed on the sides of the LCD inside the bezel of the TV, lighting across the screen. LEDs have been installed in the same way as regular LCD back-lighting, but LEDs are brighter and can be made down to the size of grain of sand if so desired. “How the hell does that improve the lighting?” I know you wondering and even asking that out loud (despite the strange looks the other people in the coffee shop are giving you). Well question aloud no longer! Think about it, if you can make a tiny little square that puts out a high amount of light couldn’t you line the edge with a bunch of LEDs? The answer is yes! Yes you can do exactly that! Manufacturers are doing just that! The reason this pushes HD farther along is because the lighting provides more of a contrast! Now I know what your thinking, “Holy Fat Buddha, that’s amazing!”. Indeed it is… indeed. However if you have ever gone shopping for LCD TVs (and I sure hope you have if your searching for bezel-less ones) then you know that the bigger the screen the higher the degradation in quality. This is because florescent bulbs have a short range of lighting. Now don’t me wrong here, LEDs don’t produce infinite range of light either, but because LEDs are so small (or can be made “so small”) then this allows you to take a different approach. Now it gets very technical here so hold onto your car-seat; If you take two equations and kinda intermix the two using the range measurement equation of the Global Positioning System then you could…………. alright, alright I’ll just spit it out. It’s called Full-Matrix lighting. Instead of the LEDs running along the edge of the LCD they are instead lined up behind the screen. That’s right, I said behind. If you think a bunch of LEDs lined around the edge of a screen imagine the lighting contrast you could achieve with a full sheet of LEDs in the rear! Mind boggling I know. Hold on just a second longer for me now.

2011 iMac

2011 iMac

Glass. Something so simplistic and beautiful. Have you ever seen a iMac before? Check it out at Apple’s website. I really would love to have one. What does that have to do with glass? Well Apple has used glass on its iMacs. giving it a pleasing seamless look. Not only does this protect the LCD screen itself it also allows bezels to be invisible if done right. There is still a bezel on the iMac of course. There is a way to attach the glass directly to the LCD eliminating the need for a bezel, I however can’t think of who has done this. If you know please comment on this post and I’ll add it in because it’s really bugging me. Anyways, I see this technique as a way to create actual bezel-less screens.

Now to move on to the final portion and that is showing off some damn slim and near bezel-less TVs as you will get at this particular moment and near future.
Lets start off with the only one that isn’t out just yet and that’s LG’s new 3D TV. Now before you piss your pants in excitement I just want to give you a forewarning: If you don’t like 3D (which I’m not very particular about myself to tell you the truth) these few TVs are 3D. “What’s good in that?” Don’t worry 3D can be turned off, but it’s there if you want it.

With out further ado I present the LG Cinema 3D TV 55LM9600. Its absolutely gorgeous! 55″ of super slim 1080p. Just get a look at that bezel! It almost appears as if the screen is just being projected from space (avoid focusing on the stand)!

LG Cinema 3D TV 55LM9600

Such a sexy LED TV

Now here is one that is actually available to buy. It’s made by Samsung and is on par with the LG, but one thing I can see Samsung having over LG here is picture quality. Samsung does a damn good job of producing large scale TVs that project the same quality as their smaller ones. LG is newer in the market and when looking at other things they produce primarily (smartphones) I am not impressed with them as it is. Here it is the Samsung UN55D8000YF: This is the 55″ model. Samsung makes 46″, 55″, and 60″ versions all roughly $200 in price difference.

Samsung UN55D8000YF

I love the stand but it would take up too much base room

There is one more and it is made by Sony. This TV is not bezel-less but they use glass just like Apple does. Here is the SONY 40″ BRAVIA NX720 LED 3D TV:

Sony BRAVIA 40" LED 3D TV

I really like Sony TVs

Thats all thanks for reading!

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OS X Update (10.6.8)

Kon’nichiwa (“hello” in Japanese),

Recently Apple has sent out an update for their new OS: OS X Lion (10.7). This update is in preparation for their first try at releasing an OS online via their recent Mac App Store.

When Apple updated from 10.6.6 to 10.6.7 there were font issues and a slight battery decrease. With the update from 10.6.7 to 10.6.8 (the most recent one in preparation for the OS X Lion) a major battery decrease is introduced. I just recently bought my MacBook Pro 13″. Now by default it came with 10.6.7 and as of right now I can’t find a way to downgrade. If I could downgrade I would revert back to 10.6.6 (battery life around 9-10 hours off of a single charge) and patch the security issues myself. With the new update I went from 6-7 hours of battery life to 2 1/2 max.

Yesterday I have ran across a way to fix it. Yes you will need to reset your SMC (System Management Controller). However, before you do this the only way (for whatever reason) to get the SMC reset to work is to take care of the dock issue. Oh yah by the way that’s that other main issue. If you open up Activity Monitor and look for Dock in the processes you will see it is taking up 100% of your CPU. Now this isn’t entirely correct (look below at the CPU core graphs); it should only be taking up 100% of a single core of your CPU (well it actually shouldn’t be doing that at all which is why we are going to fix it).

– Go to your Home folder (whatever your user name is most likely) and locate these to files via the following folder paths:
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.db
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist

– Delete the above stated files.
– Log out and Log back in.

If you look at your Activity Monitor and check your processes you will see that the dock will no longer be taking up 100% of a CPU core. You will probably also notice that your dock has reverted back to it’s original settings. Wait to set your Dock back up again until after the SMC reset.

– Now we must reset your SMC. To do this, plug in your MagSafe adapter to your MacBook. Write down the following keyboard key combo (if you tend to forget):
Shift+Control+Option+[Power Button]

– Shut down your MacBook.
– Hold down the above Keyboard shortcut simultaneously and release simultaneously.
– You should notice when you release the keys your adapter light will change from orange to green (if it’s charging).
– When it turns orange again turn on your MacBook again
– Unplug your adapter and check your battery life estimation

You should notice that your battery life has increased to its normal levels again. Now given this isn’t a guarantee but it will more than likely work. There have also been reports that only the user account that was logged in at the time of the update are affected. I did not test this theory because the above method worked. Please feel free to give feedback on your results.

Trash Can Cleanliness: Not As Dirty As Me

The New Beast!

Recently I have been looking around trying to find good touchscreen smart phones. Now to tell you the truth this has been a hard search for something that fits my needs. I’m no just talking about the OS here I’m talking hardware man! That’s right! The glorious pieces of goodah that make up the phone. I have found it!

For the most part this is coming from personal experience. I have owned several phones in my day and found some good ones and crappy ones. Over the years I have started to realize that certain companies have trends in what they do for phones. Like lets take LG for instance, they are a very interesting company who has its ideas every once in a while. But for the most part I have never been satisfied with their phones at all because they make cheap phones. Now one of my favorite phones has been the iPhone. I know, I know.

“iPhones are horrible! They are completely locked down and only available to AT&T!”

And then after that people say:

“Blah blah blah blah blah blah”

I don’t care! The iPhone has one of the most accurate touchscreens ever and who cares if I had to hack it? Plus the simplicity of the OS is very refreshing. I loved my iPhone. While I had an iPhone everyone else still had a shitty ass piece of junk prepaid looking cell phone. While they sat there texting. I was twittering, checking facebook, instant chatting, looking up things on the web, and writing emails. But the bill could not be paid for the service after a while which meant iPhone had to be sold. Anyways…

Now there have been several other interesting phones especially recently. Motorola is one of those companies that made a good phone still being used today. Motorola’s track record has been nice. Every Motorola phone I have owned has been reliable and did very well against my day to day poundings.

I know your wondering,

“Why is he blabbing on about this?”

Well I’m building up to what I wanted to talk about ok? so just calm down and be patient. So through the last few years I have owned some good phones. But I am always on the look out for a better phone. And despite my seemingly endless love for the iPhone I have found the one to replace that wonderful machine. Now you wonder why I have been talking about companies and how some make good phones and others make bad right? Well this new godly phone is made by and interesting company. Nokia.

Nokia has an interesting track record when it comes to phones. Their history of successful devices has fluctuated. Nokia has a tendency to make 20 crappy phones in a row and then come out with a really nice one! but then they fall back into the hole again. One of the nicest phones that I really liked was the Nokia N9000. It was a nice touch screen phone with one of the best slide out keyboards I have ever used. But I did not get it for one reason. Its a touch screen/keyboard combo.

It’s one of my biggest pet-peeves. If im going to get a touch-screen phone it is not going to have a physical keyboard which is why I have been so picky about the touch screen phones. I have to be able to type fast on the virtual keyboard and it has to be large. The accuracy of  touch screens has irritated me to no end for the most part. This is one reason why I liked the iPhone. The touch screen was super crisp.

So recently Nokia made a ph0ne that is wonderful! This is the new phone that I adore. It’s called the Nokia N8. And this is what it looks like:

This thing is Godly! So now to elaborate on why this phone is my new baby.

It has as you can see a pleasing form factor. Smooth and slick.

Here are the actual physical properties:

  • 12MP camera w/flash
  • 720p HD camcorder
  • 3.5″ touch screen
  • HDMI out which means I can put stuff up on the big screen in HD quality
  • FM radio
  • FM transmitter
  • 5 colors to choose from
  • 1/2 inch thick

These are the things that really attract me! It also has a new hardware element which makes it more universal than any phone. It has a 5-band 3G. This allows it yo be used by multiple carriers because each carrier uses different network frequencies for their connections. It uses GMS technology which means it uses SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile are the proposed outlets. The N8 is also running the new Symbian^3 OS. This operating system was just released to open source. Symbian^3 or just Symbian 3 has been improved upon greatly!

The new OS has lots to offer. It now has integrated social media like Twitter and Facebook, Free GPS navigation, Music player, and stream free Web TV. This means you have a choice of popular channels to choose from like NBC news and also you can tune in to local channels. Three main home-screens which are completely customizable. The OVI store offeres apps and is growing larger.

Now that Symbian has been redone and opened up it should improve upon greatly. It also has video and photo editing abilities for quick optimization.  If however I do not like the OS I will simply dual boot it with a customized version of Android OS.

Overall this thing has HUGE potential! You can currently pre-order it in some places. It is also available for direct purchase. These direct purchases would be for imported units. prices ranging from $600 – $950. I’ll just wait till it comes out though.

Thats all thanks for reading!

Android Developer frustrations

Android has been a huge hit for phones and the platform launched with out a hitch really. The purpose of Android was what? To take down Apple and their godly iPhone. This was to be accomplished through Open Source! but many developers complain about having troubles with porting their apps from phone to phone and how employees of the “Open Handset Alliance (OHA) are micro managing the code base.”  Many are now seeing that this project has been split into tiny subsections. Who is to blame? Some say Google who controls the OHA, while others say it is the companies who are making the phones who implement proprietary  features.

People are now saying Android as a fraud and not open source at all, but if you look at what these people are meaning when they say open source they are really talking about the type of license. When the mass says open source you think of what for examples? Linux! Ubuntu, Red Hat, and others that are similar are perfect examples of what people think of when they say “open source”. As one article puts it:

“Open source does not mean complete compatibility. Under a BSD-like license such as the Apache license preferred by Google, it doesn’t mean all code must be contributed back, or that those who use a project’s code can’t add proprietary extensions.”

So to really say Android was a fluke try at open source is not quite true. There is still plenty of time for adjustments and Google has had to take all this in a short amount of time. Over the next couple of months we will wait and see what happens.

New Intel Processor Series

Well Intel is going for a new area of processing. The mobile/hand-held device arena. A crowded market to be sure. With ARM as the definite standard in architecture for phones it will be hard. There are a few companies who also have their own stand in this market: Apple with their own chip, Qualcomm with their Snapdragon, and Nvidia who has dabbled in this area. This new Processor series is a new smaller Atom. The Atom Z6xx series will be for smart phones and tablets. Though there being tough competition Intel has proven its worth before. These Atoms will cut down on power consumption which will allow it to be used in handhelds with out affecting the battery. These new CPUs will bring to the table these features:

  • supports multitasking
  • 1080p video
  • 3D graphics
  • 1.5 Ghz (phones)
  • 1.9 Ghz (tablets)

With all this Intel might have a chance. The problem is trying to get developers to tweak their systems from ARM to Intel’s. Of course Intel might give an alternate choice as all those ARM compete with each other. The Atom was sported at the CES in a new phone by a company called Aava.

The Aava Touch Screen Phone

This is a new phone using the Intel Atom Z6xx Processor series

The Aava touch screen smart phone was freakn’ fast! it could even play Quake on it. fps (frames per second) was clocked at 30! this processor holds a punch! Coupled with this new company Aava this combo should make an impact. Scheduled for the third quarter of 2011 to be released. It has a micro sd card slot for memory expansion and charges via mini USB. I can’t wait to see this phone! This might end up being better than the iPhone which I adore. lol ;)

Well for those reading, signing out now from the Trash Can.

HP Takes The First Step

Well HP is now producing their newest line of HP printers which feature a huge improvement: Plug n’ Play. That means no CDs with drivers, no more trying to find drivers online, and complete integration into computer systems.  HP being the first to introduce Plug n’ Play printers I must ask this question: why not before!??!?! Every other device has been Plug n’ Play for years! Why were printers never converted over sooner? Well at least someone took the “taboo” step towards to painless office and home set up. This will make WiFi printer more versatile also. I don’t like HP but at least they are trying. Though I think that this was all caused by some poor low-level IT who made a simple suggestion. How much you want to bet someone was like “No, no, no. That’s a stupid idea.” Then that same guy makes it “his” idea. Well thank goodness for another leap in simplifying technology and making it useful.

EDIT On WebOS Post

Hey everyone just wanted to let you know that I updated the article I wrote on the security issues that were brought up for the Palm devices. The video and article of the team who discovered the issues are now in the post.