Monday, March 31, 2008

A New 24” LCD with HDMI from Green-House

A New 24” LCD with HDMI from Green-House

For just 370€ you will get in Japan the GH-TIG243SH-LB. A 24” LCD monitor with a WUXGA resolution (1920x1200), HDMI, DVI-D, a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and a brightness of 400cd/m2.

Green House

Cellular Phone Shaped Stationery

Cellular Phone Shaped Stationery from Strapaya

Ever want to own one of those fancy Japanese mobile phones without the the hassle of being screwed by a seller on eBay? Here's Japanese mobile phone shaped stationery from Strapaya! Perfect for both showing off and… carrying your pencil at school.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Stories: Nissan Maxima 2009

Nissan Maxima 2009, Ready to Bite!

Announced at the latest New York International Auto Show, the new Nissan Maxima 2009 takes after another great car from Nissan, the Murano, with its stunning headlights.

With a reptilian front-end, our Maxima strives to re-conquer its positon as the premier 4-door sports car. It does this thanks to a tasty 3.5l V6 engine capable of developing 290Hp and eager to hit the road hard.

If the Maxima 2009 is for some less attractive than the more conservative Skyline Sedan in Japan (aka Infiniti in the US), it returns to Nissan the youth and energy that many were waiting for!

All-New 2009 Nissan Maxima Recaptures Its Place as the True “4-Door Sports Car” Premium Performance Sedan

– Aggressive Styling, Refined Platform, More Powerful V6, Cockpit-like Interior and Enhanced Quality Highlight Changes to Seventh Generation of Nissan’s Flagship Sedan –

The 2009 Nissan Maxima, which makes its world debut at the 2008 New York International Auto Show, marks a return to the longtime Nissan flagship sedan’s roots as a commanding 4-door sports car – a vehicle that is unique in both appearance and driving feel, with renewed relevance for today’s active and ambitious sedan buyers. In other words, the Maxima is back.

The all-new 2009 Maxima will be offered as two well-equipped models, Maxima 3.5 S and Maxima 3.5 SV, and is scheduled to arrive at Nissan dealers nationwide in early summer 2008.

“Maxima has always enjoyed a certain ‘duality’ – a unique fusion of sedan practicality with the soul of a sports car,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “In recent years, however, competitive vehicles have caught up with Maxima in ‘sporty’ looks and performance. For 2009, Nissan is reclaiming its rich 4-Door Sports Car heritage with an infusion of emotional design, driving excitement and advanced technology – creating a silky, stimulating sports sedan like no other on the road today.”

2009 Maxima: Reborn at the “Ring”
“Do-overs” are sometimes allowed in sports but rarely in the automotive industry. Yet midway through the development of the new-generation Maxima a mulligan was indeed granted. Rather than continue with an evolution of the previous highly successful Maxima design, the creators of the 2009 Maxima stopped and rethought the entire direction.

Inspired by the concurrent top secret development of the 2009 Nissan GT-R supercar, they threw away positioning words like “conservative” and “balanced” and concentrated instead on new concepts like “addictive performance,” “striking,” “commanding” and “powerful.”

High targets were established, including the goal of creating “the best performing front engine, front-wheel drive car in the world,” along with class-leading acceleration, braking, handling, workmanship and cockpit design.

“We aren’t walking away from the strengths of the last generation Maxima, which was rated the top-ranked vehicle in AutoPacific’s 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Luxury Mid-Size Cars and a winner of Strategic Vision’s 2007 Total Quality Award? for Best Medium Car Ownership Experience,” said Castignetti. “However, complacency breeds complacent vehicles. The new Maxima demanded taking risks in order to ultimately come up with a much more exciting and rewarding vehicle.”

Three key areas were singled out for change: exterior design, which needed to be more aggressive, with more personality and attitude; a “super” cockpit, creating an interior that combines a driver orientation with high quality, roominess and user-friendly technology; and class-leading performance, enhancing what previous generation owners called “Maxima-ness.”

To further push the performance envelope, the development team challenged themselves to concentrate their efforts on “emotional engineering” – to experience Maxima with the five senses in a purer, more visceral manner, rather than through CAD drawings and computer simulations.

As each designer and engineer set and exceeded higher and higher targets, they realized that confirmation of the results would require validation on the road. But not just any road. Members of the development team traveled to Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit – not coincidentally the site of much of the GT-R’s performance development work – to test Maxima prototypes. Special attention was placed on body rigidity, suspension and steering, along with honing Maxima’s competitiveness against some well-established European sports sedans.

“A number of product changes came directly from the Nürburgring trials, including enhancements to the braking and transmission systems,” said Castignetti. “But more importantly, it gave notice to the entire Nissan organization that the new Maxima is back solidly in the performance arena where it rightfully belongs.”

Aggressive Design Adds a “Wow” Factor to the Sedan Category
While seeking to create a simple-yet-strong presence, the designers of the new Maxima’s exterior also wanted to re-assert Maxima’s breakthrough personality – establishing a “wow” level of style that would clearly distinguish it from segment competitors.

The exterior design theme for the new Maxima is “Liquid Motion” – focusing on the flow of its powerful and beautiful surfaces, like the undulation of a wave. The look starts with Maxima’s aggressive stance and powerful fender volume, which is not unlike many exotic sports cars on the market today. This deeply sculpted body/fender treatment is seldom used for mass market vehicles because of the engineering and manufacturing complexity required to physically accomplish it. Maxima’s new stance is created by a slight reduction in wheelbase and overall length, along with a wider front and rear track.

Maxima’s new look imparts a strong, premium presence. The large, wraparound L-shaped headlights add a unique dimension to the overall design, while the light surrounds suggest a powerful “turbine” appearance of energy and strength. The upturned headlight shape combines with a wide grille, large bumper opening and bulging “catamaran-style” hood to give Maxima a formidable expression, setting the tone for the rest of the vehicle.

The powerful Maxima form continues along its profile, with careful layering of the bumper, hood and fender parting lines. The polished, elegant motion spreads from the deep-waisted rear fenders through distinctive Maxima-style C-pillars and high trunk lid.

Dimensionally, versus the previous generation, the new Maxima measures the same width at the doors but wider at each fender, which not only helps project a sporty appearance but also allows a reduction in the visual gap between the fenders and wheels and tires. Maxima’s dynamic performance stance is accented by 18-inch and available 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with low-profile performance tires.

Another new styling feature is the available Dual Panel Moonroof, which is traditionally offered only in luxury segments. The Dual Panel Moonroof includes a front section that moves like a normal moonroof (positioned farther forward than typical), with a very wide opening to provide an open-air motoring feeling. There is also a fixed translucent rear section that provides light to rear seat passengers. The overall design gives the appearance that the entire roof is composed of black glass. The Dual Panel Moonroof includes dual power sunshades for both the front and rear glass sections, adding a level of convenience.

At the rear, Maxima features a new 12-LED L-shaped taillight design, with a pair of side marker bulbs for added visibility during night driving.

“Maxima’s breathtaking new exterior gives it a commanding, almost coupe-like appearance, with plenty of driveway appeal,” said Castignetti. “It’s one sedan that will definitely be noticed by the next door neighbors, along with a lot of other people.”

Maxima is available in a choice of eight exterior colors: Winter Frost, Super Black, Navy Blue, Tuscan Sun, Radiant Silver, Mystic Jade, Precision Gray and Dark Slate.

Leading-Edge Sports Sedan Performance Platform
For five previous generations, Maxima has been built on a front-wheel drive (FWD) platform. Yet with the new Maxima’s development team everything was open for discussion, including the benefits of front-wheel drive versus rear-wheel drive (RWD). Although there are well-known advantages of RWD in terms of sporty handling, it was ultimately decided that by switching Maxima from its previous platform to Nissan’s new “D platform,” which was first introduced on the current Nissan Altima Sedan, Hybrid and Coupe, the target Maxima performance could be delivered – without giving up the added FWD benefits of lower costs, lower weight and enhanced roominess versus a RWD platform.

“As demonstrated time and again with the new Altima, the new Nissan D platform is an amazing piece of engineering – providing responsive handling while virtually eliminating the torque steer often associated with high horsepower FWD applications,” said Castignetti. “For the new Maxima, we’ve continued to refine the D platform, creating what we believe is one of the best-performing front-wheel drive car in the world, far above other FWD vehicles in its class. It’s a level of performance that we think will be highly addictive.”

In creating driving performance worthy of Nissan’s flagship, the Maxima’s body and chassis engineering teams worked together to create a secure feeling, virtually no torque steer during acceleration and a level of nimbleness that ultimately makes a car fun to drive.

A range of enhancements helped achieve these targets, including increasing body rigidity and adjusting the wheelbase and track dimensions. Body rigidity was increased by 15 percent and front strut mounting rigidity was increased by 100 percent, with all-new structures added to the engine compartment and additional reinforcement applied to the instrument panel structure. Maximas equipped with the Sport or Premium Packages feature a panel behind the rear seat that improves torsional rigidity by 17 percent versus models with a fold-down rear seat (a rear trunk pass-through is utilized with this panel).

The 2009 Maxima has a wheelbase of 109.3 inches, a decrease of 1.9 inches versus the 2008 Maxima, and width has been increased by 1.5 inches to 73.2 inches. The front and rear track measurement of 62.4 inches represents increases of 1.4 inches front and 1.2 inches rear over the previous model.

Additional “D platform” enhancements include the use of aluminum suspension links, revised suspension geometry, new technology shocks, revised steering and suspension geometries, a lower engine mounting and application of a new Xtronic CVT™ (Continuously Variable Transmission), all of which contribute to minimal torque steer and improved handling prowess.

A Refined Engine and CVT
Compared to the previous generation, the new Maxima offers more horsepower and torque, providing quicker acceleration response and a special “Maxima Sound” – a satisfying, sporty sounding exhaust note. For 2009, Maxima again features a standard 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine, enhanced and refined to take its driving performance to new levels.

The revised engine features a modular engine design with microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, a resin intake collector, digital knock control, six individual coils (one per spark plug) and a cross-flow coolant pattern. Also utilized are a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a variable induction system, a silent timing chain and electronically controlled throttle.

In refining the award-winning VQ-series V6 for use in the new Maxima, engine development engineers focused on three areas – increasing air intake, increasing fuel burn efficiency and lowering exhaust backpressure. Steps utilized to improve air intake included increasing intake manifold collector port diameter, adding a second power valve in the intake manifold, changing intake collector material to resin for less mass and more flow, redesigning the shape of the intake valves and increasing the throttle chamber diameter. Fuel burn efficiency was improved by increasing the engine’s compression ratio to 10.6:1 (from 10.3:1), changing the piston shape for reduction of friction and weight, and adding exhaust-side continuous valve timing control (quad valve timing system). Exhaust backpressure was reduced through optimizing the exhaust system layout.

The 2009 Maxima’s 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 is now rated at 290 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque (estimated), increases of 35 horsepower and 9 lb-ft of torque over the 2008 Maxima.

Significant development time was also spent on enhancing the sporty engine sound for an increased “exhilaration feeling.” The new Maxima also utilizes additional sound absorption material and a new “sound creator” to enhance induction sound. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance has been improved through a number of measures, including adoption of a new six-point engine mounting system. The system, which replaces the previous generation Maxima’s four-point mounting, includes upper and lower torque rods, high rigidity front and rear aluminum brackets and front and rear switchable control mounts to improve NVH performance under high engine torque conditions.

All 2009 Maximas come equipped with a revised Xtronic CVT™ with manual mode, tuned specifically for Maxima’s sporty driving character. The Maxima development team finessed the previous CVT design to improve responsiveness and strike a balance between sport and comfort, ultimately creating a transmission that provides a true synergy between engine and transmission, along with smooth, responsive and efficient operation.

For drivers seeking the utmost in vehicle control, a new “Ds mode” (drive sport) has been added to the CVT for 2009. “Ds mode” is an electronic control logic, that enhances sport driving through increased acceleration feel with higher engine revolutions, automatic engine braking and maintaining engine speed during cornering.

Ds mode takes advantage of the CVT’s infinite selections of available gear ratios and is able to select the right gear, the right time, all the time. This enhances the emotional, sporty feel while driving on canyon roads or city streets. Whether it is upshifting through the gears while accelerating, or automatic engine braking (downshifting) when coming into a corner, Ds mode is able to match vehicle speed and engine rpm with the driver’s intended acceleration input. Ds mode, combined with the sound creator, creates an emotional experience not available on any other CVT vehicle.

Available paddle shifters, mounted on the steering column, allow manual transmission shift changes for varying scenarios – such as winding roads – while the driver’s hands remain on the wheel for optimum vehicle control.

“The enhancements to the new Maxima’s already industry leading CVT, especially the addition of the new Ds mode, help us realize the full potential of the Xtronic technology, including the controller and adaptive logic,” said Castignetti. “It’s like having an ‘automatic’ manual mode – with lightning quick gear ratio changes going into turns and auto gear hold out of turns. You’ve got to feel it to believe it.”

Fuel economy is estimated to be 19 miles per gallon City, 26 miles per gallon Highway (final EPA figures to announced at a later date) – similar to that of the 2008 Maxima, despite the 2009 Maxima’s 35 additional horsepower.

Advanced Suspension, Steering and Braking
Maxima’s suspension is designed to be both stimulating and relaxing, combining responsive handling with a comfortable ride.

The subframe-mounted strut/coil spring front suspension makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum parts. An X-type upper cowl structure helps establish front body rigidity for suspension mounting.

Maxima’s multi-link independent rear suspension design, also subframe-mounted, offers outstanding handling by minimizing camber change during cornering. The rear shock absorbers and springs are separated for minimized friction and the shocks are in line with the center of the rear wheels, providing excellent damping and minimal harshness. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard.

Braking is provided by standard 4-wheel disc brakes with a 4-channel, 4-sensor, 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The system features new vented rear disc brakes with larger rear rotors (versus the previous generation Maxima) and a variable ratio linkage for a secure feel

The 2009 Maxima features a new Twin Orifice Power Steering (TOPS) vehicle-speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering system, similar to that utilized on the Nissan 350Z. The system features high accuracy gear, which is designed to offer improved high performance response, along with ease of driving at low speeds and a stable feel at high speed. Maxima has the quickest steering ratio of any Nissan sedan (15.2:1) to help provide its sporty steering feel. A new strut tower brace also contributes to Maxima’s improved steering precision and rigidity.

Every 2009 Maxima offers standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and V-rated P245/45R18 all-season tires. The Maxima 3.5 SV model with Sport Package features 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P245/40R19 all-season or summer performance tires.

“With major improvements in engine horsepower and torque, along with the many enhancements to the CVT programming and addition of ‘Ds mode,’ we expect the new Maxima to be among the best performers in class in terms of acceleration and driving feel,” said Castignetti. “Add in its tuned performance exhaust, the virtual lack of torque steer, nimble handling, controlled body movements and linear steering and braking feel, and Maxima stands out as the most exciting and exhilarating performance sedan in class.”

“Super Cockpit” Interior
Another challenge in designing a true sports sedan is creating an attractive, intimate, sporty cockpit feel for the driver without compromising the traditional sedan attributes of passenger comfort, roominess and utility.

The new Maxima’s interior design team developed an interior concept of “Super Cockpit, but with Space” – the feeling of a sports car with controls ergonomically close, yet with ample roominess and comfort for both driver and passengers. Key design words emphasized during development were “impressive and silky,” “high touch,” “craftsmanship” and “high tech.”

Every aspect of the interior layout, including the size and shape of touch points and placement of features, was improved for a better driving experience. The shifter lever, for example, was placed closer to the driver and falls easily to hand. This also allowed a cupholder to be placed to the right of the shifter device, not behind it. The transmission’s manual mode gate has been moved toward the driver for a more intuitive action.

To enhance the “cockpit feel” of the new Maxima’s interior, the center console has been raised, and a premium quality feel is provided through the extensive use of soft touch materials, as well as soft, deep pads where an arm or elbow may rest.

The high quality feeling is also expressed with “Daytime Illumination” electroluminescent meters, with a special tilting of the tachometer so engine redline is placed at the 12 o’clock position, and extensive use of chrome surrounds for the gauges, vent rings, vent knobs and audio switches.

The new Maxima’s three-spoke steering wheel is sport-oriented and its diameter has been reduced (compared with the previous Maxima) for improved feeling. Maxima Sport and Premium Package models feature a unique “parallel” pattern steering wheel stitching (versus the traditional baseball-style stitching) for enhanced grip.

Much development attention was spent on the 2009 Maxima’s driver’s seat, or “the Chair.” The special driver’s seat includes an available manual thigh extension for long distance driving, additional support in the side bolsters for good lateral support during sporty driving, as well as added seat height adjustability. The new Maxima’s seat height is 0.8 inches lower (at its lowest setting), which also enhances the sporty driver’s feel. The seat is also available with heating and cooling functions and premium leather-appointed surfaces with special stitching. Also available are power lower lumbar and memory function.

The new Maxima’s front and rear seats share a common design theme for added harmony and cockpit feeling. The front seatbacks include a new slim, sculpted design, resulting in additional rear passenger knee room.

The 2009 Maxima is available with two different rear seat layouts – a 60/40 fold-down rear seat with access to the trunk, and a fixed rear seat with center armrest pass-through for carrying long items such as skis or other sporting equipment. Three interior colors are offered for 2009: Café Latté, Frost and Charcoal.

“The new Maxima is more tailored and refined than any Maxima that has come before, while maintaining a high-touch, high-tech sporty feel,” said Castignetti. “Its craftsmanship is outstanding, as is the quality look and feel – making Maxima an easy vehicle to enjoy, even when sitting still.”

Comfort and convenience features include a standard moonroof, 8-way power drivers seat and 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control, cruise control with illuminated steering wheel mounted controls, Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD6/MP3 audio system with 8 speakers and an available Interface System for iPod

Maxima 3.5 SV models add leather-appointed sport seats, an advanced Bose® premium audio system with 9 speakers (including two subwoofers and a center channel speaker), speed-sensitive volume control and Radio Data System (RDS), HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, fog lights and outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.

A number of packages are also offered, including the Sport Package with sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down features, automatic entry/exit system with two-driver memory, heated front seats and steering wheel, paddle shifters, metallic link trim, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), premium leather-appointed seats and more.

The Premium Package includes the Dual Panel Moonroof with rear roof window and front and rear power retractable sunshades, High Intensity Discharge (HID) Xenon headlights, heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down features, automatic entry/exit system with two-driver memory, heated front seats and steering wheel, paddle shifters, premium leather-appointed seats, Eucalyptus wood-tone trim, 7.0-inch color monitor, RearView Monitor, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately) and more.

Several Tech Packages are available, including the Maxima 3.5 SV Tech Package, which includes an advanced Nissan Hard Drive Navigation System with Voice Recognition, 9.3GB Music Box Hard Drive, XM NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), 7.0-inch color monitor, XM® Satellite Radio (active XM® subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor and Interface System for iPod®.

The 2009 Maxima comes equipped with standard Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage front supplemental air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.

Also standard are front-seat Active Head Restraints, 3-point rear seat belts for all seating positions, front seat belts with adjustable upper anchors, pretensioners and load limiters, emergency inside trunk release, Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

The 2009 Maxima also features a standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).

The 2009 Nissan Maxima will be assembled by Nissan North America Manufacturing Smyrna & Decherd Tennessee Plants.

Maxima Is Better Than Ever
“Our goal was to keep Maxima relevant to sports sedan enthusiasts, maintaining excitement and segment leadership,” said Castignetti. “Breakthrough design can only be accomplished by breaking through the limits you place on yourself. The passion and vision demonstrated by the Maxima development team has energized the entire organization. In the long, proud history of Maxima, this is one to remember.”


Sunday Stories : Honda Fit 2009

Honda Fit 2009... Also for the US

The all-new 2009 Honda Fit, set to go on sale in the U.S. this fall, is making its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. The Fit promises to further its leadership in the subcompact segment with top-of-class feature content, including an available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™; improved interior functionality, including one-motion dive-down rear seats; enhanced sporty demeanor through improved suspension, steering and body rigidity; and high levels of standard safety equipment, including Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

"Critics and customers alike have voted the Fit among the best small vehicles on the road," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "This new Fit raises the bar even further, taking what was already great about the Fit, making it even better and throwing in a healthy dose of refinement."

Enhanced Comfort and Convenience

Dimensionally compact on the outside, the interior provides surprisingly large passenger and class-leading cargo space to maximize comfort and utility. At the foundation is an improved rear Magic Seat®, now featuring one-motion dive-down functionality, which allows the rear seat to fold flat with the front seats in the rearmost slide position and without removing the rear head restraints. The seats offer multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations (tall object mode, long object mode and utility mode) in addition to the standard five-passenger mode. Additionally, a new hidden storage bin under the driver's side rear seat provides a place to store small items.

Adding further refinement, Fit Sport offers an available factory-installed Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition, featuring a 6.5-inch screen. All Fit Sport models feature a USB audio interface1 compatible with current generation iPods® and many USB storage devices.

"The goal is to provide entry-level vehicle customers with functionality and refinement that's a class above," said Colliver. "Buying a Fit is a choice, not a compromise."

Fun to Drive

The Fit features a new 1.5-literi-VTEC™ 4-cylinder engine connected to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an available 5-speed automatic transmission, which includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Fit Sport. The new engine is designed to offer the best balance of fuel economy and power. Larger 15-inch and 16-inch (Fit Sport) wheels hint at enhancements to the Fit's suspension, steering and body rigidity, which are intended to produce sportier handling without sacrificing comfort.

Top-of-Class Standard Safety Equipment

The 2009 Fit adds Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology, available Vehicle Stability Assist ™ (VSA®) and active head restraints, to a top-of-class list of standard safety features. With Fit's adoption of ACE, more than 94 percent of Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. will include the innovative body structure. When introduced to the 2009 Fit, VSA will be available in the lineup of every model Honda sells in the United States. Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, dual front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) and side-curtain airbags are standard equipment on all Fit models. All seating positions have three-point seat belts. Additionally, front and rear visibility is improved.

Standard active safety equipment includes an anti-lock braking system (ABS), with ventilated discs in the front and drums in the back, and electronic brake distribution (EBD).

More detailed information about the 2009 Honda Fit will be released closer to the vehicle launch in the fall.

Additional media information and high-resolution photography is available at

1USB audio interface is used for direct connection to, and control of a variety of digital audio players such as iPods(1) and other USB devices(2) that contain MP3, WMA, or AAC music files(3). (1) Fifth generation or later iPod, nano, iPod Classic, iTouch, or iPhone. (2) Some USB devices such as those with security software may not work. (3) Except for Digital Rights-protected files.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

KG-DP1, the Anoto Like Pen from TAXAN

KG-DP1, the Anoto Like Pen from TAXAN

Back in the year 2000, the Bluetooth Anoto PEN was one of the most promising gadgets available. Although it requires special paper which makes it unpractical in many ways, this pen concept remains popular among tech lovers and manufacturers… Taxan is apparently one of them and just released in Japan the KG-DP1. It's a pen which enables you to transfer your handwriting directly into a word document, for example.

This pen can also be used as a mouse or drawing tool. An interesting concept, but in order to transfer your data from pen to PC you'll still need to plug your PC into some kind of communications module.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Aluminium Case for iPOD

Factron Quattro: The Ultimate Aluminum Case for Your iPOD

The new iPOD Nano is for some the best looking DAP available on the market… So, how can you protect your gorgeous iPOD in style? You should consider getting one of these Factron aluminum jackets, more precisely the Quattro ones.

Made only in Japan and in very small quantities, the Quattro jackets are now available in a new limited edition by Mizumori Ado, a Japanese lady famous for her cute little drawings…

Mizumori Ado

New Onkyo AV Amplifier

TX-SA606X: The New Onkyo AV Amplifier with VIERA Link, AQUOS, and REGZA

Many of you have heard of the Viera Link, AQUOS (Sharp), and REGZA (Toshiba) system that allows you to control any of these devices with one remote...

Things are a little different today as these manufacturers understand the importance of being open. Behold the very first fully compatible Viera Link (or AQUOS/REGZA equivalent) Onkyo AV amplifier on the market!

Our AV amplifier is of course compatible with Dolby NRs True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, supports x.v.Color, has a 1.3a HDMI port, and offers a generous 185Wx7ch at 6Ω.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008


LG is bringing the heavy artillery

LG unveiled yesterday their latest touchscreen cellphone dubbed the LG LH2300.
This new baby is CDMA EVDO compatible and features a 3 inches toucscreen (800x480px WVGA), 3MPx digital camera with autofocus and image stabilizer, DMB, new "Hello UI" user interface, BlueTooth 2.0, microSD port and many more things.

The LH2300 will be available in 2 colors: Grape Wine and Navy Blue and sold at approximatively 600.000 Won (more or less 380€) in always, let's hope that it will go worldwide...


Monday, March 24, 2008

LG's Flatron LX206WU

Up to Six LCD hook-ups to Your Notebook Thanks to LG

LG Electronics has released a 20.1" wide monitor (Model: Flatron LX206WU) which can provide easy & simple multi-display with a USB cable. Using a USB cable, your PC can be connected to up to six monitors WITHOUT an additional graphics card or other driver installation.

With two built-in USB ports, this new monitor can work as a USB hub and supports 5000:1 contrast ratio and 2ms responding time.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Stories: Suzuki Kizashi 3 Concept

Kizashi 3 Concept, the new Sport Sedan from Suzuki

Last week Suzuki announced their intention of introducing a new concept car at the New York Auto Show… Now that this event has started we finally have more information on Suzuki's new Sport Sedan concept.

First off Suzuki hopes to be able to bring its concepts live by 2010, not only in Japan but also in the USA. With three new attractive vehicles, Suzuki is working hard to change its image globally with larger models.

We now know more about Kizashi 3 Concep's engine. This vehicle will be powered by a 3.6l DOHC engine which will develop at least 300 hp… For the rest we'll will have to wait at least two more years to get the final details of this very interesting sedan.


Sunday Stories: Toyota Scion Hako Coupe Concept

Scion Reveals Hako Coupe Concept At The 2008 New York International Auto Show

Scion unveiled its Hako Coupe Concept vehicle at a press conference today at the New York International Auto Show.

Scion's Hako Coupe was developed by Tokyo Design Division, which studied global, youth-inspired trends. Japanese and American youth cultures often influence each other and are interpreted with a unique twist. The Hako Coupe Concept was inspired by the iconic xB and the emergence of American vintage style among young Tokyo trendsetters.

"Scion's Hako Coupe Concept embodies a distinct global perspective on today's youth," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. "This type of forward thinking complements the Scion philosophy of intently listening to our customers and being willing to take risks to help us see where our brand should be. We took the xB's iconic boxy shape and explored something more vivacious, yet just as emotionally appealing. This concept is the sporty version of a box."

Tokyo Design developed the Hako Coupe with classic American coupes in mind. The car's geometric profile conveys a powerful stance in a compact and bold package. Its trapezoidal LED headlights lie parallel with a large and aggressive, rectangular upper grille. The lower rectangular grille anchors the front fascia and continues to communicate the Hako's aggressive attitude. Round fog lights, symmetrically placed high on the front bumper, have integrated turn signals.

The Hako's silhouette is accentuated by slim, race-car-inspired side mirrors that also feature integrated turn signals. Powerful, flared fenders add dimension and contrast to the concept's boxy shape and smooth surface planes. The Hako concept hugs the road with custom 18-inch deep dish five-spoke wheels and tires with a "Scion" custom tread.

The Hako Coupe features a vertical windshield as the concept sits upright and ready to attack the road. A high linear beltline along with a blackened and chopped greenhouse seamlessly wrap around the rear to provide a mysterious profile. As an example of potential personalization, the concept is equipped with a flat, panorama roof that features a random, barcode-like pattern that can be seen on the exterior and from the interior.

The rear features LED taillights that echo the shape of the headlights. To complete the package, the rear bumper has an integrated fog and back up light on the left and exhaust on the right.

Inside, the Hako is accented with orange and metallic detailing that exudes a modern environment with entertainment possibilities. The front and rear seats are covered with urethane and rubber-like upholstery for easy cleaning. The contemporary front bucket seats flow to the floor and incorporate a geometric design on the seatback. The seats are separated by a center console that features a large storage crevice for storing magazines, cell phones, and other small items. Two cockpit-like rear seats also share a storage crevice.

The orange driver's seat has a gaming theme. Instrumentation and warning lights cascade from the art inspired instrument panel to the steering wheel. The shifter, located on the center console, resembles a large joystick. On the steering wheel is a simple button to start the engine and a track-ball type control for the Hako's entertainment system located on the passenger dash. The entertainment system consists of two video monitor screens mounted on the dash for radio, video, and music capabilities. Users can upload their videos and music through a Bluetooth® connection. The front passenger controls the system using a large rollerball mounted on the center of the dash. A black seat differentiates the front passenger area.

Video monitors located on each door and on each side of the rear seating area project distorted fish-eye images from orange filtered cameras mounted beneath the A-pillars. While the vehicle is parked the driver and passenger can edit the scenes captured by the cameras to show their friends where they have been and perhaps even post the clip online for others to see.

"As you know, polarizing style fits in well with our lineup," said Hollis. "And of course we love a good box. We'll listen to the feedback from this concept to help us determine how our brand could evolve and grow over the next five years."


Overall Length: 145.7
Overall Width: 68.1 without side mirrors
74.0 including side mirrors
Overall Height: 57.5
Wheelbase: 94.5
Ground clearance: 4.0
Wheels: 18-inch alloy wheels
Tire Size: 225/45 R18
Seating Capacity: 4


Sunday Stories: Nissan GT-R Safety Car

Nissan GT-R is Official Safety Car for Super GT 2008 Series

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. (NISMO) today announced that the NISSAN GT-R will become the official safety car of the SUPER GT 2008 series, which kicks off this March 16.

A handover of the safety car will be held during the opening of the SUPER GT series (Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture) on Sunday, March 16.

A series of past GT-R racing models will feature in demo-runs in the morning. A line-up of the past GT-R racing cars will also be on display at the Grand Prix Square adjacent to the main stand.

Sunday, March 16
10:20 - 10:35 Safety car and past GT-R demo-runs(at Suzuka Circuit)
* Key presentation ceremony
(to be presented from Advertising Department General Manager of Nissan, to Masaaki Bando, Chairman of GT Association)
* Photo opportunities for the media (safety car, past GT-R racing cars)
* Safety car and past GT-R demo-runs

12:55 - 13:05 Presentation ceremony (in SUPER GT Opening Ceremony)
* Key presentation ceremony
(to be presented from Takao Katagiri CVP of Nissan, to Masaaki Bando, Chairman of GT Association)

[Vehicles for demo-runs]
1996 NISMO GT-R LM Clarion
1990 Calsonic Skyline

[Vehicles on display]
1998 Pennzoil Nismo GT-R
1992 STP Taisan GT-R


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Panasonic DMC-FX500 Hands-On

Panasonic Lumix DCMX-FX500 Hands-on at the PIE 2008

We just came back from the PIE Photo Image Expo in Japan where we had the chance to play with the DCMX-FX500. Unfortunately we didn't have time to test the HD 720p features (this will come later in a future review), but we were quite please with the touch-screen function that allows you to easily move between functions directly on the screen, as well as easily target your focus point. Focus point tracking works very well, interesting if you're shooting your kids.

You'll also find the Lumix LX2 in the gallery


Friday, March 21, 2008

Pentax Booth at the PIE 2008

Pentax Booth at the PIE 2008

Many Pentax fans are waiting for the K20D to become widely available on the market, and Pentax was in Japan promoting their new little DSLR (national launch of the K20D) with a special babe shooting session... Here's some pictures from their booth, taken of course with a K20D...

On a side note, you should see our Pentax K20D review pretty soon since Pentax sent one to us along with five or six lenses.