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Impossible Triangle looks good in real world

Impossible Triangle is an Optical Illusion but .. it’s could be real.

An exciting new landmark has been created for Perth, in a unique collaboration between a leading WA artist Brian McKay and architect Ahmad Abas. Destined to become a bold icon for Perth, the "Impossible Triangle" has been erected in Claisebrook Square, East Perth.

In 1997, a number of local artists were invited to enter submissions for a major commission for the East Perth redevelopment. Each artist was given a comprehensive brief for the project. The submissions were shortlisted to three. One of the outstanding submissions came from Brian McKay and Ahmad Abas. It was accepted with one amendment. In order to create a bold and visible landmark for the wider community, the size of the sculpture was increased from the planned height of 9 metres to 13.5 metres.

The design striations on the polished aluminium reflects both sunlight and artificial lighting and changes dramatically between sunrise and sunset.


Brian McKay was born in Northam, Western Australia, in 1926. His work spans six decades. After representing Australia in the Children's Art Exhibition at New York's World Fair in 1939, Brian's work has featured in numerous local, national and international exhibitions. Among his many accolades, Brian was awarded the prestigious Australia Council Emeritus Fellowship in 1990 and the Order of Australia medal in 1991, for services to contemporary art and education. Brian has been commissioned for many major works over the years, including internal art works for the Central Park Complex in Perth city and two large works for the Reserve Bank of Perth.

Ahmad Abas is an award winning Perth architect who has had a strong local involvement in the arts, since 1990. In addition to working on major commercial architectural projects both locally and overseas, Ahmad has worked prolifically in design and construction on numerous plays, sculptures, exhibitions and events, often working in collaboration with other leading local artists.


The world's first 2.5 gigapixel digital picture

Hasselblad may have a camera with 39 megapixels, but when you check out this latest project, it's like saying you have a 32MB MP3 player. Imaging junkies in the Netherlands got together and created a 2.5 gigapixel digital picture, dubbed to the world's largest. To accomplish this, they employed a 4 gigapixel camera. That's giga, not mega.

Just as 1000MB is equal to 1GB, 1000 megapixels are equal to 1 gigapixel. And this camera has four of those. As you can probably imagine, the file size is absolutely gimongous. The original picture was a jaw-dropping 7.5 gigabytes (GB) in size.

Now, it's not like this photo was taken in one fell swoop either: it is composed of 600 individual images that were later "merged". The endeavor took 75 minutes to complete.


Sea Level May Rise 40 Percent Higher Than Predicted, Study Says

Global warming could push sea levels about 40 percent higher than current models predict, according to a study that takes a new approach to the calculation. Most sea level models predict changes based on what we know about how ice sheets melt and warmer waters expand. These models suggest that by 2100 sea level will be between 4 and 35 inches (9 and 88 centimeters) higher than it was in 1990.

But the physics of how ice sheets melt and how the oceans will expand in a warmer world is still poorly understood. So Stefan Rahmstorf, an ocean physicist at Potsdam University in Germany, took a different approach: He used studied actual observations of changes in sea level collected in the 20th century to make predictions for the 21st century. Current models don't jibe with actual sea level rise during recent decades, Rahmstorf says. So he crafted a formula based on a relationship between global temperature and sea level seen during the past hundred years.

"The more the temperature rises, the faster the sea level rises," he said. In a paper published today in the online advance edition of the journal Science, Rahmstorf applied his formula to 21st-century warming scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His results predict that by the end of the century sea level will rise between 20 and 55 inches (50 and 140 centimeters) above 1990 levels. "We have much larger uncertainty than we previously thought about the sea level," Rahmstorf said.

Unforeseen Factors

Rahmstorf added that the actual range of uncertainty is probably larger than his calculations suggest. The IPCC numbers are based on an older assumption that the ice sheets over Greenland and Antarctica will melt by a steady amount over time. Recent research suggests, however, that ice sheets are melting faster (related news: "Global Warming Is Rapidly Raising Sea Levels, Studies Warn" [March 23, 2006]). "If something dramatically new happens—something we haven't foreseen—then of course the whole approach [of using observations to make predictions] breaks down," Rhamstorf said.

"We may end up with more sea level rise." Konrad Steffen is a professor of geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder who studies how melting ice sheets and glaciers contribute to sea level. He said one wild card that could impact predictions is the so-called dynamic response of the ice sheets to warming. In the last five to eight years, he noted, the speed at which Greenland's glaciers move toward the sea has sped up dramatically (explore Greenland's changing landscapes with a National Geographic Adventure magazine guide). Scientists think that meltwater, which pools up on the ice, funnels down to the glacier bed. There, the water acts as a lubricant, allowing the ice to slip seaward more quickly. The process may last five or ten years, or it may last decades, Steffen said.

"We have hypotheses on what is happening, but we can't model it for the future," he said. "That is where [Rahmstorf] is correct."

High Water Risk

Study author Rahmstorf notes in Science that a sea level rise of 39 inches (1 meter) is plausible if the 20th-century relationship between temperature and sea level holds true in the 21st century. That much sea level rise would expose major coastal cities such as London and New York to greater storm surges, threatening life and property. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can impact such sea level rise, he noted.

"By implementing effective climate policy," he said, "we can stay below the lower end of my range [around 20 inches, or 50 centimeters]."

Via National Geographic




A small cute doggy that humping with your PC or laptop

Well, this is probably the COOLEST USB gadget ever! The Humping Dog is nothing but a little doggie in heat that keeps on screwing your computer once connected… WICKED!!

CUBE-WORKS (Japan) lets you possibility to make a nice present for someone for X–mas or just have your own Humping Doggi! See video how it works when connected via USB…it’s awesome!

Available on on request.! Only $8.5


Lumus-Optical unveils microdisplay-packin' designer glasses

While we admire the effort of those gaudy, unsightly microdisplay-equipped goggles to bring big screen theatrics to the front of your face, they aren't likely to win any style contests, nor help you garner any friendly attention. An Isreali company, dubbed Lumus-Optical, is looking to change all that by offering up a relatively normal looking set of spectacles with twin microdisplays and mini projectors.

The firm's latest prototype boasts dual 640 x 480 resolution displays as well as two wee projectors on each arm; the Lumus glasses can accept video inputs via an undisclosed connection, and projects an image akin to a "60-inch screen from 10 feet away." Its Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) technology allows the imagery to be reflected back on to the lenses so users can view them, all while being transparent enough to allow you to focus on the humans, trees, road block, or board room presentation ahead of you. Although it's easy to shrug gizmos like these off as gimmicky and unrealistic, we guess we'll have to see (ahem) for ourselves when these specs are demoed at CES.



1 TB of data on a regular DVD?

This is the promise of the 3-D Optical Data Storage system developed at the University of Central Florida (UCF). This technology allows to record and store at least 1,000 GB of data on multiple layers of a single disc. The system uses lasers to compact large amounts of information onto a DVD and the process involves shooting two different wavelengths of light onto the recording surface. By using several layers, this technique will increase the storage capacity of a standard DVD to more than a terabyte.

This technology has been developed by Kevin D. Belfield, Department Chair and Professor of Chemistry at UCF, and his colleagues in the Belfield Research Group. So how does this work?
The process involves shooting two different wavelengths of light onto the recording surface. The use of two lasers creates a very specific image that is sharper than what current techniques can render. Depending on the color (wavelength) of the light, information is written onto a disk. The information is highly compacted, so the disk isn’t much thicker. It’s like a typical DVD.


The challenge scientists faced for years was that light is also used to read the information. The light couldn’t distinguish between reading and writing, so it would destroy the recorded information. Belfield’s team developed a way to use light tuned to specific colors or wavelengths to allow information that a user wants to keep to stay intact.

Below is a picture showing how this two-photon 3D optical system reads the data. "This 3D image was reconstructed from successively two-photon fluorescence imaging (readout) of 33 XY data planes along the axial direction (1 micron distance between each image). The principle for this novel two-photon 3D optical storage device was based on a bichromophoric mixture consisting of diaryletheneand fluorene derivative, suitable for recording data in thick storage media." (Credit: Dr. Zhen-Li Huang, UCF)

This research work has been published by Advanced Materials under the title "Two-Photon 3D Optical Data Storage via Fluorescence Modulation of an Efficient Fluorene Dye by a Photochromic Diarylethene" (Volume 18, Issue 21, Pages 2910-2914, Published online on October 30, 2006). Here is a link to the abstract.

This work has also been reviewed by Rachel Pei Chin Won in Nature Photonics under the title "Two photons are better than one" (November 16, 2006). Here are more details about this "Two-Photon 3-D Optical Data Storage" system.
[The researchers] have fabricated a two-photon three-dimensional optical data system using a photochromic polymer. They show that the system is suitable for recording data in thick storage media and for providing a readout method that does not erase existing stored information — they perform 10,000 readout cycles with only a small reduction in contrast. Also, contrary to other techniques, this method allows reading and writing of data at the same wavelength, which is achieved by changing the intensity of the laser light.

Nature Photonics also describes what kind of lasers were used by Belfield and his team.
Although the authors used a relatively expensive femtosecond Ti-sapphire laser to both read and write the information, they suggest that the data could be read using cheaper nanosecond laser diodes with comparable laser intensity, making this high density data-storage system more cost effective.

But when will we able to use DVDs with a terabyte capacity? Not before several years. In fact, the researchers just received a $270,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to continue its work.

In the mean time, you can still visit -- virtually -- Belfield's lab. In particular, you should take a look at this page about High-Density Optical Data Storage, from which the above illustration has been extracted, and a photo gallery about One vs Two-photon Excitation.

via Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, University of Central Florida


Bill and Melinda Gates to Spend All Within 50 Years of Their Death

The Gates Foundation focuses on problems of our century

This month, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that within fifty years of the death of the Gates, it would spend all of its assets. The goal for the foundation is to spend the assets in this century improving the foundations and addressing problems in preparation for the next century. The Foundation said this century would be an important focus to address such things as poverty, AIDS and other situations and issues.

Bill Gates earlier this year announced his inevitable step-down from his day to day role at Microsoft to focus more on the Gates Foundation. While many industry insiders were surprised by the announcement, Bill has been increasing his donations over the years leading up to this point. "Global development is a gigantic problem," said Gates at a philanthropy meeting in New York.

In June of this year, Warren Buffet announced that $44-billion of his total wealth will be given to the Gates Foundation. The large gift will be dispersed in phases and not all at once. Gates mentioned previously that he too will be using much of his wealth for philanthropic causes.

Because Bill and Melinda have decided to focus the foundation’s work in the 21st century, we will be spending all of our resources within 50 years after Bill's, Melinda's, and Warren's deaths. The decision to focus all of our resources in this century underscores our optimism for making huge progress and for making sure that we do as much as possible, as soon as possible, on the comparatively narrow set of issues we’ve chosen to focus on.

The foundation will also be split into two, one part handling the assets and the other part doing the actual programs and work. Bill and Melinda as well as Warren Buffet will serve as trustees for the program foundation. Only Bill and Melinda will be the trustees for the asset foundation. Buffet stated that he does not want to be involved with the money or how it is spent.

The P-ISM pen from NEC writes, projects, scans, and more

Big deal, so you've got yourself a spiffy-looking pen. I don't care if it coated in platinum or white gold, because all it will ever be able to do is scribble on a piece of a paper. The P-ISM "pen-style personal networking gadget package" from NEC does much more than just write. For starters, it can project a virtual keyboard for use with PDAs and other handheld devices. It'll provide you with a glowing red set of QWERTY-fied goodness on whatever desk you happen to be sitting at... but wait, there's more.

The P-ISM, of course, can still do "hand-writing data input functions", but it also includes a very small projector, a camera scanner, and a personal ID key "with cashless pass function." You can even use the P-ISM, apparently, to connect to the internet using the cellular phone function. Wow! Will it do my taxes too?

Police arrest 12-year-old for opening Game Boy present early

Police in Rock Hill South Carolina arrested an eager teenager for opening his Game Boy Christmas present early. The 12-year-old kid had taken the present that had been placed under the Christmas tree by his 27-year-old mother. On Sunday, the mother and the boy's great-grandmother couldn't find the present and threatened to call the police.

The boy fessed up, but the mother called the police anyways. Two Rock Hill police department officers arrived and arrested the boy for petty theft. While most people would say that it's impossible to steal a gift, the mother argued that the gift hadn't yet been given and still belonged to her. He wasn't taken to jail and was released to his parents.

The mother and grandparents say the kid has had previous disciplinary problems and wanted to teach him a lesson. Police Lieutenant Jerry Waldrop told the Rock Hill Herald that, "In a case like this, if the parents and grandparents are adamant about it and they feel the child has a serious problem, I can't second-guess what the officers did," Waldrop said.

Ppolice report:


Windows Vista Ultimate for $3.50!!!

Bangkok (Thailand) - Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system will not launch until January 30, but software pirates around the world are already churning out illegal copies of the recently released RTM Vista. Often these copies are sold for pennies on the dollar when compared to the original price: We were able to purchase a copy of Vista Ultimate, which will retail for $400, for a mere $3.50 (US).

If you have been following the coverage, it is no secret to you that you will have to pay at least $160 to see the sleek AeroGlass 3D interface (available in Vista Premium and up.) Even updates on your new computer could be pricey, as manufacturers will charge an average of about $80 to take their users from Windows XP Home Basic to Vista Premium. No matter how you turn it, Windows Vista will cost you a lot more than your previous Windows XP operating system, at least if you purchase the software legally.

Illegally, you could have downloaded the "release-to-manufacturing" (RTM) version via various P2P networks. If you've missed that chance or if you don't trust such a download, you can also pick up a RTM copy during your vacation in Thailand for a price that is just slightly higher than what you would pay for a blank rewriteable DL DVD.

We bought our Vista RTM copy in a regular store in an upscale mall in Bangkok. Vista, along with other expensive software, was prominently on display at several stores with prices ranging from $2.50 to $5.00 (US).

Photocopies of the front and back box covers are usually displayed along with a three digit number. Customers simply write down the numbers of the software they want to purchase and take them to the store's cashier. After paying in the store, it takes about ten minutes for a runner to bring a freshly burned copy of the software.

According to media reports, every few months the Thai police sends people to raid some of the stores, but the officers often end up empty handed. Since the DVDs are burned off-site, there is often no contraband at the store. In addition, stores appear to be well connected and are often told in advance when the police will raid the mall.

Back at home, we found that we had bought a fully functional RTM version and virus-free of Windows Vista that would allow us to install Vista Basic, Vista Premium, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate. We passed on installing the software, but the back cover paper claims that neither a product key nor activation is required to install the software.

In exchange for the savings, however, there is some inconvenience for the user of a pirated Vista RTM: Users are instructed to set their BIOS date to 2099 before installing the release. The date is set back to the regular time after installation. We were not able to confirm that this hack will pass Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage checks for software updates.

Back in March, Neil MacBride, vice president of legal affairs at the Business Software Alliance, told us that software piracy is a huge problem in Asia and that 79% of the software in use in Thailand is pirated. MacBride said his organization concentrates on the big-time pirates and likes going after businesses that use the software. BSA often publicly names companies if they are caught using pirated software.

How to make watercooling for your laptop in 13 steps

How to make watercooling for your laptop

step 1Step 1: Don't be a moron
Disclaimer: If you break something doing this it is your own damn fault. You REALLY ought to know better than to mix electronics and water. DUH!
For those of you willing to continue despite the risk to life and limb and inevitable financial loss; go to the next step.

step 2Procure laptop
Get a laptop from somewhere. I happened to have an old compaq presario 700 laying about. It would only run for five minutes then lock up from heat. Soooo, I decided to get my feet, er, wet in the world of water cooling, using the cheapest methods I could think of.
Some of the methods could be done better, much better if you are not a cheapskate like me.
If you are a cheapskate, you could potentially use similar methods elsewhere and save a buck or two.

step 3Get other stuff
Tubing: I used 3/16 ID vinyl tubing from the hardware store, it is strong yet flexible it has an OD of 5/16
More tubing: I used 5/16 ID for this, if you can't see where I'm going with that...
A pump. I got one from ebay $20 shipped with power supply. If I were to do it again... I'd get a proper water cooling pump.
Radiator. I'm using an add-on transmission cooler from O'reilly auto parts. It comes with mounting hardware and looks pretty nice. It should have the thermal capacity of 800 of the laptop's built in heat sinks.
Fans. Whatever. I'm using two thermaltake fans wired in series with a temperature controller. One fan is a smartcool the other is a thuderblade. Both together were $29 shipped from newegg. If I were doing this over, I'd skimp on fans and splurge on pump.
Reservoir. A gerbil water bottle from petsmart. It has a detachable clip on the back and 3/16 tube fits right in the hole where the metal drinking tube went.
Power supply. I'm using a 13.5 v psu for the fans and a 12v psu for the pump (the one that came with it)

step 4Dismantle computer
See manufactures recommendations for how to do this.
Or be like me and just pull out all the screws you find. Whatever.

step 5Prepare cooling block
Most laptops have an integrated cpu cooler block/ heat sink.
Remove this and figure out how to get water through it.
The compaq has a single copper pipe across the top. I cut a section of it off. Then cut off the end. Then I removed the copper mesh inside.
Then I flared the ends of the tube.
Then I stuck tubing on them by heating them gently and stretching them over the pipe. I borrowed this method from Bard Lund Johansen.
The tubes are also glued/caulked on using a 'household welder' adhesive.
Just for good measure a short (1/2 inch) length of 5/16 tube was slid over the top to keep it all snug.

While the block is off you MAY want to try lapping the cooler. That is up to you. It is VERY time consuming, and I just don't know about the gain. BUT I did it, so... just look at that shiny cpu cooler.
I think I lapped it even more after i took this photo.

step 6Route tubes
Find some way to route tubes to the outside.
This will almost certainly take some cutting.
Plan your route carefully and avoid sharp bends.
Bonus: Use the stiffness of the tubing to support the now much heavier screen.

step 7Mount stuff on back of screen
I opened up the screen (be careful, lcd's are fragile) and drilled some holes. Then I threaded the mounting zips that came with the trans cooler through the holes.
Then I cut some foamies brand (from wally world) pieces of foam to little squares and punched holes in them. These are to stand the radiator away from the back of the screen.

step 8Mount Rad and Fans
Now get that radiator nice and comfy using the zips.
Then place a gasket made of foam on top of the rad for each fan. This will keep your air moving to/from where you want.
put the fans on.
Attach and snug everything using the round clips for the zips (they work like a two-piece zip tie)
Marvel at being 3/4 of the way there.

step 9Mount other stuff
Now that the radiator is mounted you have to attach your pump and reservoir.
Of course, you already spent all your time agonizing of the mounting and routing locations (didn't you?) so this part just means attaching the hoses and sticking everything down with heavy duty (outdoor strength) double stick tape.
Now, a word on attaching an routing tubes:

At first I was using small plastic elbow bends to make sharp corners with my tubing, but those limited flow too much. So I went with the method used here:
Bard told me to heat the tubing gently and bend it and stretch it.
I heated using my gas stove.
I bent the 5/16 tubing by placing a thick copper wire inside, and holding it near the flame to GENTLY heat it. I then held the section of tubing in cool water for 1-2 minutes so it cooled fully. Then I removed it and attached it to whatever. This way I could make elbow bends that fit over the 5/16 inlets and outlets of the pump and rad. They don't reduce flow and they look pretty nice. The other advantage is you can just shove the smaller tubing right inside for a water tight fit. If you're nervous, just use some glue.

step 10Wiring
This is tricky and may take some playing with.
I'm using two separate wall wort power supplies for the pump and the fans. Do whatever works for you. Be careful and don't blow up your expensive fans like I did (D'oh!).
If you have a computer power supply now might be the time to press it into service, as it has a choice of voltages to play with.

step 11PRAY
Fill it with water.
Use distilled water.
Turn it off and pull the battery (you should have done that long ago, but just in case)
flip the switch
Watch for leaks (there will be leaks)

step 12Fix leaks and reassemble system
Fix all the leaks and put everything back together.
Keep the cooling system running with no leaks for at least 24 hours before powering up.
Be prepared to troubleshoot odd problems.
My reservoir kept leaking, I discovered that it was building up lots of air pressure inside and blowing out the glue seal. I installed a needle valve from a lawnmower carburetor, that seemed to fix it.
If any one has other solutions, let me know.

step 13Enjoy
Enjoy your new stable running system
Install Ubuntu
Post instructable
revel in being the first person you know with a water cooled laptop.
try to figure out how to cool the ram in the laptop
Plan another one... this time battery powered and self contained.....
drink beer



Enigmatic relic was an eclipse calculator

The mystery over the purpose of a sophisticated geared "calculator" built in the 2nd century BC has finally been solved.

The so-called "Antikythera mechanism" was found in 1902 by sponge divers exploring a shipwreck off the Greek island of the same name, but its exact use had puzzled scientists.

The relic consists of numerous fragments, including brass gears embedded in thick mineral encrustations. The device is thought to have once been housed in a wooden box about the size of a carriage clock and is more complex by far than any other machine known to have existed on the planet for the following 1000 years.

Now a team led by Mike Edmunds at Cardiff University in Wales has shown that the Antikythera mechanism was designed to predict solar and lunar eclipses from the relative positions of the Earth, Moon and Sun.

Edmunds's team used an industrial CT scanner to map out the gear trains within the mineral-encrusted fragments. The scans allowed them to determine how the components fit together and to work out their function. The team also found fragments of previously hidden text engraved on the metal.
Long tradition

"The real significance of this is just how sophisticated the device was – much more complex than a modern wristwatch," says Edmunds. "It is beautifully designed and must have come from a long tradition of making these kinds of devices."

The team is constructing a virtual model of the mechanism, which they hope to have completed within a few months.

But questions still remain, says Edmunds. There are various written references to devices like the Antikythera mechanism and yet no other examples are known. One reason may be that the bronze from which the machine is made would have been extremely valuable and so similar devices may have been melted down.

"It may be significant that the only example we have has come from a shipwreck and so couldn't have been melted down," Edmunds says, adding that the only examples of bronze statues from the same period also come from shipwrecks.

Top 10 reviews of the week

Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked most.

1. 2007 Porsche Boxster S 2dr Convertible (3.4L 6cyl 6M)

Editors' rating: 8.4

The good: The 295 horsepower six-cylinder engine in the 2007 Porsche Boxster S gives strong and usable power at any speed, with the handling and six-speed manual transmission equal to the spirited driving this car calls for.

The bad: The available CD changer mounts in the trunk, and satellite radio isn't available.

The bottom line: With its superior handling and power, the Porsche Boxster S begs to be driven hard. A full array of cabin electronics is available for navigation, music and cell phones, but this package could benefit from an in-dash CD changer.

2. Pioneer VSX-82TXS

Editors' rating: 8.3

The good: Pioneer's high-end 7.1-channel A/V receiver is tightly packed with a full range of top-notch features, including a Faroudja HD scaler that converts all analog video inputs to your choice of 480p, 720p or 1080i resolutions over the receiver's HDMI output. It offers three 1080p-capable HDMI inputs and highly accurate autosetup. The THX Select2 certified receiver is also XM-ready and--with the included connecting cable--offers iPod compatibility.

The bad: Densely packed menus will intimidate novices. Analog-to-digital video conversion has some issues which may bother discriminating videophiles.

The bottom line: With an extensive feature package, rock-solid build quality and awesome sound, the Pioneer Elite VSX-82TXS is a worthy combination of everything we expect in a high-end A/V receiver.

3. Niro 800

Editors' rating: 8.1

The good: Ingeniously designed "1.1" single speaker plus seriously potent subwoofer virtual surround home-theater system; compact digital amplifier; optional subwoofer amp boosts bass performance; simplified cable hookup.

The bad: Uninspired styling; no video switching or HDMI connectivity; you supply the DVD player.

The bottom line: Niro's home theater sound is in the top tier of virtual surround systems and is especially recommended for buyers who will be spending as much time listening to music as watching DVDs.

4. LG enV (VX9900)

Editors' rating: 8.0

The good: The LG enV offers an impressive feature set, an easy-to-use QWERTY keyboard and decent call quality.

The bad: The enV's streaming-video quality could be better, and the boxy design has its quirks. Also, its external display is small and not very useful.

The bottom line: The design still isn't perfect, but the LG enV is a high-quality messaging and multimedia cell phone.

5. V-moda Vibe

Editors' rating: 7.7

The good: The stylish V-moda Vibe headphones amplify the audio from the sound source, and they come with several fun or useful accessories. Overall sound quality is very good.

The bad: The V-moda Vibe headphones are a bit overpowering on the low-end; may be uncomfortable for some users.

The bottom line: The V-moda Vibe headphones are a great option for style-conscious bass-addicts looking for some worthy portable headphones.

6. Canon Pixma MP960

Editors' rating: 7.7

The good: Fast prints; high-quality text, graphics and photo prints; built-in duplexer; loads of image enhancement options; capable of batch negative/slide scans.

The bad: Scan quality needs to be improved; PictBridge port can't double as USB port; no built-in networking; expensive.

The bottom line: If you have the money to burn, the Canon Pixma MP960 is a great choice for photo hobbyists who need fast prints and great print quality. We prefer this model to its comparably priced competition.

7. Motorola Razr V3m (Sprint)

Editors' rating: 7.3

The good: The Sprint Motorola Razr V3m offers a trendy design, decent call quality and a notable list of features, including Bluetooth, a speakerphone and support for EV-DO networks. Its menu design and EV-DO offerings are superior to Verizon's Razr V3m.

The bad: The Sprint Motorola Razr V3m suffers from poor speakerphone quality, a low-resolution display and no analog roaming. The location of the memory card slot is poor, and the phone's interface was rather sluggish.

The bottom line: The Sprint Motorola Razr V3m offers a few differences from the Verizon Wireless Razr V3m, but overall, it's roughly the same as its competitor.

8. HP Pavilion m7690n Media Center TV PC

Editors' rating: 7.3

The good: Lowest-cost PC, desktop or otherwise, with an HD DVD or Blu-ray drive (in this case, HD DVD); strong configuration for playing HD movies also lends itself to gaming and Windows Vista; wireless networking included.

The bad: HD DVD player begs to be brought into the living room, but the midtower desktop design says otherwise; limited room for expansion; too many promotional shortcuts and icons on the desktop; no HDMI output, only dual-link DVI.

The bottom line: We'd rather see an HD DVD drive in a living room-style case, but if HP had to build it into a standard desktop, at least the Pavilion m7690n Media Center TV PC is powerful, and it's also affordable. It will play both high-definition movies and 3D games, and it's ready for Windows Vista--for less than $2,000. No other PC we know of can make that claim. If you're in the market for such a system, this is a steal.

9. Motorola Krzr K1m

Editors' rating: 7.3

The good: The Motorola Krzr K1m is downright sexy and offers Bluetooth, EV-DO support and good call quality.

The bad: The Motorola Krzr K1m suffers from metallic music quality, poor streaming videos and sluggish performance. Also, it offers a lower-resolution camera than on the GSM Krzr K1.

The bottom line: Although it's oh-so pretty, the Motorola Krzr K1m doesn't offer any new features. Plus, multimedia performance wasn't reliable.

10. Samsung SPH-M610

Editors' rating: 7.3

The good: The Samsung SPH-M610 has an attractive design, a fantastic internal display and admirable performance. It also offers a solid set of features, including Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera and EV-DO support.

The bad: The Samsung SPH-M610's volume was a tad low, its external display is too small, and it lacks stereo speakers. Also, the microSD card slot is in a bad location.

The bottom line: Despite some minor performance and design issues, the Samsung SPH-M610 is a strong addition to Sprint's lineup and a great choice for a slim phone.

Seagate: "We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

Seagate CEO Bill Watkins will probably be known as the most brutally honest hard drive executive in history. During a dinner conversation with Fortune's senior editor Jeffrey O'Brien, Watkins said, "We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

Of course, Watkins said what everyone knew all along, but it takes someone with guts to blurt it out.

Seagate is mainly know for their Barracuda line of drives, but the company also makes a variety of portable drives from the Pocket Hard Drives to the Mirra Personal Server. The company recently acquired competitor Maxtor and continues to sell Maxtor's DiamondMax line of drives.