Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Stories: Suzuki SX4-FCV

The New Suzuki SX4-FCV Now Officially Certified by the Japanese Government

The SX4-FCV, a fuel cell based car using US General Motors fuel cell technology finally got final approval from the Japanese government.

As a reminder, the SX4-FCV specifications are:
- 5 Seat capacity
- 4.190x1.730.1585mm
- 2.500 mm wheelbase
- Fuel-Cell output = 80kW
- Motor output = 68kW
- 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank
- Fuel type = High pressure hydrogen
- Maximum Speed 150km/h
- Range = 250km.


Sunday Stories: Mazda Cut Fuel Consumption

Mazda to Cut Vehicle Fuel Consumption 30 Percent by 2015

Lighter (100kg less) with better fuel efficiency (by 30% up) and a newly designed 3 layer wet paint stuck together with carbon neutral bioplastics... Here's the New Mazda plan for its 2015 line-up!

More in the press release below:

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that it is setting its sights on reducing the fuel consumption of Mazda vehicles sold globally by an average 30 percent by 2015. This determined commitment will entail a holistic approach which includes using lightweight technologies, the upgrade of almost all of Mazda’s gasoline engines, introducing a Smart Idle Stop System, a new gasoline rotary engine and new diesel engines worldwide. By 2015, Mazda will have renewed almost its entire powertrain lineup and, from 2011, through steadily developing safe, lightweight, new generation platforms aims to reduce the weight of its new vehicles by 100 kilograms or more.


Mazda is driven by its long-term vision to provide all its customers with first-rate environmental and safety features as well as driving pleasure. This means that Mazda owners are assured of driving cars that continue to provide the fun-to-drive feeling that will keep them coming back for more, while still having the peace of mind that their Mazda is environmentally-friendly and safe to drive.

But, this focus on the environment is not a new concept for Mazda. In the seven years from 2001 to 2008, the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles sold in the Japanese market increased by approximately 30 percent. In 1991, the company embarked on a long-term project to develop vehicles powered by hydrogen technology, thereby participating in the search for sustainable transportation solutions, which still continues today.

Mazda saw its hydrogen powertrain efforts progress positively forward in June 2008 when the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid received the green light from the Japanese government to begin testing on public roads. The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid (known as the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid in Japan) offers 40 percent more power and an extended hydrogen driving range of 200 kilometers. It will be available for commercial lease in Japan during the 2008 fiscal year. And, Mazda is already progressing well with the development of an all-new Hydrogen RE vehicle with dynamic performance equivalent to a 3.0-liter gasoline engine and a hydrogen range of 400 kilometers.

The next technological milestone for Mazda will be the introduction of the mass production version of its proprietary Smart Idle Stop System into one of its cars in 2009.

Mazda’s is the only idle stop system in the world that restarts the engine from idle by injecting fuel directly into the cylinder and igniting it to force the piston down, enabling a fast and quiet restart as well as an improvement in fuel economy by up to seven-to-eight percent. Demonstrating the extent of Mazda’s flexible R&D capability in developing alternative environmentally-friendly technologies, the system will initially appear in Japan and Europe; however, it will be rolled out worldwide.

Mazda’s future powertrain line-up has much to excite current and future Mazda customers. In 2009, an E85 fuel-compatible flex-fuel engine will be introduced into the Northern European and North American markets. From 2011 onwards, with new gasoline engines will incorporate next generation Direct Injection Spark Ignition and other systems to boost power by 15 to 20 percent and improve fuel economy by approximately 20 percent.

Beginning in 2011, Mazda plans to introduce new diesel engines worldwide that meet the strictest future exhaust gas regulations in each market. These engines will feature next generation direct injection technology, turbocharging systems and NOx reduction technology, which will enhance fuel economy by 20 percent and produce cleaner exhaust gases, while still providing a true Zoom-Zoom experience.

A fundamental part of Mazda’s heritage, the gasoline rotary engine, will be substantially upgraded in the early 2010s. Currently referred to as the 16X, the next rotary engine will offer substantially improved performance and economy through use of Direct Injection Spark Ignition and high-speed combustion technology, enfolded in new rotary dimensions.

Mazda’s environmental efforts are not only focused on its cars. The plants in which they are built have also received a lot of attention to ensure that they contribute to a sustainable future.

In FY2007, the volume of CO2 emissions from production activities in Japan was reduced by 15.4 percent compared to FY1990 levels. Expressed as CO2 emissions volume per unit of revenue, the reduction was 24 percent.

In 2005, Mazda was the first auto manufacturer to introduce a Three Layer Wet Paint System which reduces VOC emissions by 45 percent and CO2 emissions by 15 percent. Mazda now plans to introduce a more advanced version of this unique Paint System in 2009 as it finalizes the development of an innovative water-based paint technology that reduces VOC emissions by a further 57 percent without increasing CO2 emissions. Producing around 25 percent fewer CO2 emissions than common water-based paint, this new technology is intended to make Mazda’s paint shops the cleanest in the world.

Mazda is also making itself known in the area of carbon neutral bioplastics. Developed in collaboration with government, industry and academia, Mazda intends to expand the applications of this new source of eco-friendly material. Already, bioplastics are used in the new Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid and, in June 2008, Mazda commenced the Mazda Bioplastic Project to develop a bioplastic made from non-food-based cellulosic biomass. The project aims to have the bioplastic ready for use in vehicles by 2013.


Friday, June 27, 2008

ASUS' Eee Box

ASUS' Eee Box

Taipei, Taiwan, June 19, 2008 – Fulfilling the needs of users who require a stylish, low-power computer with a minimal footprint, ASUS, producer of the world renowned Eee PC™, releases the new Eee Box. Replacing today's bulky and boring PCs, users can refresh their working environment with a compact, elegant solution. With a range of exciting novelties, the Eee Box offers amazing journeys where users learn, work and play – all in line with the Eee PC™’s main tenet of easy use.

A Sleek, Stylish Performer
Merely 1L in size, the Eee Box is delightfully sleek. Slim as a paperback novel, users can reclaim the desk space previously lost to bulkier, intrusive desktop systems. The Eee Box even mounts VESA LCD displays for the ultimate space-saving solution. An accessible touch sensor button and vertical placement exudes a seamless and futuristic outlook; while smooth curves further accentuate a refined form that compliments most interior designs.

Just 7 Seconds* from Boot up to Internet
With the exclusive Express Gate – ASUS' innovative fast boot technology, users can easily access the Internet, manage pictures, or communicate over IM/Skype just 7 seconds* after boot up. The Eee Box also supports the latest WiFi 802.11n wireless standard – providing up to eight times faster connectivity than previous 802.11b/g wireless. Users can download a 30 minute video in only 44 seconds – minimizing the wait and allowing time for twice as many movies.
*Actual boot time subject to hardware configuration and product model.

Love Your Environment
The innovative ASUS thermal solution integrates a unique heat dissipation module with the AI fan – allowing quiet (26db) and comfortable computing. Compared to full-sized desktop solutions, the Eee Box's energy-efficient performance reduces power consumption by up to 90%. The Eee Box also utilizes Green Design and is made with only earth-friendly materials for reduced CO2 emissions; and conforms to stringent RoHS and WEEE standards. Users can thus be socially responsible while working, learning and playing in style!

Work, Play and WATCH
The Eee Box is the perfect choice for enjoying Internet TV. With an IPTV player, thousands of programs are freely available – allowing users to personalize and watch lists of TV shows with ease.


Panasonic Atom ToughBook

Hands-on the CF-U1, Panasonic's First Atom Powered TOUGHBOOK

This morning in Japan, Panasonic launched the CF-U1. It's the first Toughtbook tablet PC from the Japanese maker powered by an ATOM CPU, a Z520 at 1.33GHz. Our CF-U1 has 1GB of RAM, 16GB of SSD, a 5.6” wide LCD (WSVGA), Wifi A/B/G and Bluetooth. It runs either on Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, or Vista Business SP1. (1.06kg, 184x150x57mm).

Like ALL Panasonic TOUGHBOOKs, the CF-U1 is pretty amazing and tough (Panasonic demonstrated this by dropping it 30 times(artistical quotation of 10/10) from a height of 1m20)! The Japanese company also demonstrated how their UMPC was water-resistant, and actually, you should be able to use your device under the rain without any problem!
But just a council... don't use it in the pool! it is not waterproof! Moreover, the demonstrator was a little scared when there was too much water!

Anyway! We also noticed that CF-U1 Vista version is faster than other ATOM UMPC running on this OS... And on XP version, as usual, it's amazing

The CF-U1 will be released in Japan in October.



Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mitsubishi's Laser TV

LaserVue 65" & 75": Mitsubishi's Laser TV Available This Autumn?

According to Engadget, Mitsubitshi gave a brief preview of its new TV based laser TV technology. This new TV should be available the 3rd Quarter of 2008.

Two sizes were announced: 65" and 73" with a color range twice than found on a normal HD TV. Mitsubishi remains discreet about this technology, and what advantages it has.

What we CAN say is this new laser TV provides an image-driving speed of 120Hz, and a brightness of 500cd/m². We don’t have and further information at the moment. Except for the color depth, we don’t know about real changes and enhancements over LCD and plasma technologies…

Anyway, just wait & see..


Ricoh's GX200

Ricoh's GX100 Successor, the 12Mpix GX200

Tokyo, Japan June, 24, 2008 Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) has announced today the development and release of the GX200. The GX200 is able to reproduce high quality images from edge-to-edge with low noise and natural gradation. This camera succeeds the award winning Caplio GX100 compact digital camera introduced in April 2007.

The GX200 inherits the popular features of the GX100 such as a 24 to 72 mm (35 mm film equivalent focal length) high-performance wide-angle optical zoom lens on a 25 mm thin pocketable compact body, a wide variety of manual shooting functions, and a removable tilting electronic viewfinder. The new GX200 achieves increased resolution via its 12 megapixel CCD and dramatic noise reduction with the addition of the new image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine III.

Already a popular part of the Caplio GX100, the high-resolution wide-angle lens unit has been further configured to enable picture taking at an even higher resolution.

With a large wide-viewing angle 2.7-inch 460,000 dots HVGA LCD and an electronic level function, for horizontal and vertical shooting, the GX200 contains extensive shooting functions to enable camera lovers to enjoy and create stunning photographs.

This model comes in two package types with different accessories. The GX200 package contains: rechargeable lithium ion battery, battery charger, AV cable, USB cable, CD-ROM, strap, and lens cap. The GX200 VF KIT package contains all the above accessories plus the electronic viewfinder.

*The lens focal lengths used in this document are the equivalent focal length for a 35 mm camera.

Main features of the new Ricoh GX200

1. Greater image quality through use of a 12 megapixel CCD, a new image processing engine and continuous RAW mode capture.
• An effective 12 megapixel high-performance 1/1.7-inch CCD has been newly installed, with each pixel comes increased resolution.
• The adoption of a new image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine III allows for greater control over the noise reduction process by the photographer without sacrificing resolution or saturation.
• High image quality combined with a lens with greater backlight capability*.
• *This is the 24 to 72 mm equivalent wide-angle zoom lens mounted on the previous model (Caplio GX100). It features a generous configuration of 11 elements in 7 groups, including superior aspheric surface lenses and high-refractive-index, low-dispersion lenses. This optimal configuration restricts distortion, chromatic aberration, and light falloff at edges for wide-angle operation while delivering aperture light settings from F2.5 (wide) to F4.4 (tele-photo). In addition, ghosting has been further reduced through the improvements made to the lens unit.

2. Large, high-resolution 2.7-inch, 460,000-dots HVGA LCD.
• The new 2.7-inch, 460,000-dots high-resolution LCD has a wide viewing angle and high contrast for distinct, easy viewing even outdoors. When thumbnail images are displayed, even the small 1/20 size images are clearly reproduced.
3. Electronic level utilizing an acceleration sensor to help keep the camera body horizontally or vertically
• If the level setting is set on, when the camera is level, the level indicator becomes green in the picture display. Being able to check whether the image is level while looking at the display can be useful for keeping the camera level when composing pictures of landscapes, buildings, and other scenes where the horizon is visible.
• It is possible to check whether the camera is level using the level sound setting.
• The electronic level can also be utilized while using the viewfinder.

4. Extensive shooting functions and high operability.
• Expanding buffer memory has made continuous shooting of up to five images possible in RAW mode, and it is also now possible to use the bracketing function to automatically change exposure settings when shooting in RAW mode. Other expanded RAW shooting capabilities include the ability to shoot 1:1 aspect ratio (vertical/horizontal ratio) format photography in RAW mode.
• The number of mode dial “My Settings” options for defining your own shooting settings has increased to three. (There were two on the Caplio GX100.)
• There are now one-push mode change function buttons both on the top surface and as one of the rear-surface cross keys. These buttons can be used for customized settings to, for example, to switch from JPEG to RAW or from colour to B&W. You can switch quickly to your preferred shooting mode when confronted with a sudden photo opportunity.
• The AF target shift function, which before could only be used in macro shooting, is now also available in normal shooting. Without moving the camera, it is possible to shift the target for AF or AE or both.
• The flash is manually raised by sliding the open switch. Flash functions on the GX200 have been further expanded with a light intensity adjustment function (-2.0 EV to +2.0 EV), a manual flash function in which intensity can be set, and a flash synchro setting where flash timing can be set as „1st Curtain“ or „2nd Curtain.“
• An auto rotate function makes it easier to view images on the picture display.
• Even when shooting in high-contrast situations, the camera can use an auto level correction function to achieve an appropriate level of brightness while reducing areas that are overly bright or dark.
• There is a distortion correction function (on/off selection possible) to automatically correct image distortion during shooting also usable with 19 mm conversion lens.
• When in aperture priority mode, an auto aperture shift function will automatically adjust the aperture setting to prevent overexposure.

5. Enhanced image editing functions enable images to be manipulated in the camera.
(1) Image colour tone correction (white balance compensation).
• By adjusting green, magenta, blue, and amber tones, still image colour tone can be corrected, with the corrected image being recorded in the camera.
(2) Image brightness and contrast correction (level compensation).
• Still image brightness and contrast can be corrected with either auto or manual modes, with the corrected image being recorded in the camera. With manual correction, the image is corrected by adjusting the histogram.
(3) Wide range of creative monochrome possibilities.
• Colour, colour density, contrast, and sharpness can each be defined on a five-level scale.
• Sepia, red, green, blue, and purple colour selections are possible.

6. Additional options further expand possibilities for camera use.
• Lens cap (LC-1) opens and closes automatically in sync with lens movement.
• 135 mm equivalent tele conversion lens (TC-1) with built-in hood. Filter attachment possible.
When the tele conversion lens is attached, vignetting will occur when the zoom is not set to full telephoto. *The above two options can also be used on the Caplio GX100.

7. Removable electronic viewfinder can be attached.
• A removable and tiltable electronic viewfinder can be attached (included in GX200 VF KIT).
• The field of view provides 100% coverage without parallax and can display the same information as on the LCD picture display.
• It is convenient for shooting in bright outdoor environments and enables shooting to be done in a conventional film camera style.

List of GX200 Options

Ricoh code Description RRP
TC-1 Teleconverter lens £99.99
DW-6 19 mm Wide angle lens £99.99
LC-1 Tri-Lens Cap £19.99
HA-2 Hood and Adapter set for DW-6 and TC-1 £34.99
VF-1 Electronic Viewfinder £79.99
SC-45 Soft Leather case £29.99
ST-2 Ricoh GX Neck strap £14.99
AC-4c Mains adaptor £34.99
CA-1 Cable release £29.99

*1 The VF-1 LCD view finder is included in „GX200 VF KIT“.
*2 The HA-2 hood and adapter is required when using the wide conversion lens or the tele conversion lens. When the
wide conversion lens or the tele conversion lens is attached; the internal flash cannot be used because vignetting may occur.
*3 The ST-1 neck strap for the GX/GX8 cannot be used.

GX200 with electronic viewfinder included, will be available in the beginning of July 2008 at £399.99 inc vat.,
GX200 Standard is available at £349.99.

Ricoh GX200 – Major Specifications

Effective 12.1 million pixels (total 12.4 million pixels), 1/1.7-inch primary-colour CCD

Focal length: f=5.1 to 15.3 mm (35 mm film equivalent focal length 24 to 72 mm. With Step Zoom set,
the following fixed focal lengths possible: 24 mm, 28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, 72 mm)
Aperture (F value): F2.5 (wide) to F4.4 (telephoto)

Shooting Distance:
Normal shooting: Approx. 30 cm to infinity (wide-angle), approx. 30 cm to infinity (telephoto) (from the front of the lens) / Macro shooting: Approx. 1.0 cm to infinity (wide-angle), approx. 4.0 cm to infinity (telephoto), approx. 1.0 cm to infinity (zoom macro) (from the front of the lens)

Lens Construction:
11 glass elements in 7 groups

Zoom Magnification:
Optical zoom: 3x (35mm film equivalent focal length 24 to 72 mm)
Digital zoom: 4x, up to 12x (288 mm equivalent) in combination with optical zoom
Auto resize zoom: 6.3x, up to 18.9x (450 mm equivalent) in combination with optical zoom (VGA

Focus Mode:
Multi AF (CCD method) / Spot AF (CCD method) / Manual Focus / Snap / Infinity (with focus lock and AF aux. light)

Motion Blur Reduction:
CCD shift method image stabilizer

Shutter Speed:*1
Still image: 180, 120, 60, 30, 15, 8, 4, 2, 1 to 1/2000 sec. / Movie: 1/30 - 1/2000 sec.

Exposure Adjustment:
Exposure Metering Mode: Multi Light Metering (256 segments) / Centre-weighted / Spot (TTL-CCD metering, AE lock available) Exposure mode: Program AE / Aperture Priority AE / Manual Exposure Exposure compensation: Manual Exposure Compensation (+2.0 to -2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps) / Auto Bracket Function (-0.5 EV, ±0, +0.5 EV /-0.3 EV, ±0, +0.3 EV)

ISO Sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity):
AUTO / AUTO-HI / ISO64 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600

White Balance Mode:
Auto / Outdoors / Cloudy / Incandescent Lamp / Fluorescent Lamp / Manual Settings / Detail White balance bracket function

Built-in Flash Mode: Auto (during low light and when subject is backlit) / Red-eye Flash / Flash On / Flash Synchro / Manual Flash (Full, 1/1.4, 1/2, 1/2.8, 1/4, 1/5.6, 1/8, 1/11, 1/16, 1/22, 1/32) / Flash Off / Built-in Flash Range: Approx. 20 cm to 5.0 m (wide-angle), approx. 15 cm to 3.0 m (telephoto) (ISO AUTO / ISO 400, from the front of the lens) Flash Compensation: ±2.0 EV (1/3 EV steps)

Picture Display:
2.7“ Transparent Amorphous Silicon TFT LCD, approx. 460,000 dots

Shooting Mode:
Auto Shooting Mode / Program Shift Mode / Aperture Priority Mode / Manual Exposure Mode /
Scene Mode (Movie / Portrait / Sports / Landscape / Nightscape / Zoom Macro / Skew Correct Mode /
Text Mode) / My Settings Mode

Picture Quality Mode:*2 F (Fine) / N (Normal) / RAW (DNG file format)*3

Number of Recorded Pixels:
Still image: [4:3] 4000×3000, 3264×2448, 2592×1944, 2048×1536, 1280×960, 640×480
[3:2] 3984×2656 / [1:1] 2992×2992 / Movie: 640×480, 320×240 / Text: 4000×3000, 2048×1536

Recording Media:
SD memory card, SDHC memory card (up to 16 GB), Internal Memory (approx. 54 MB)
Storage Capacity*4 (No. of Pictures) (Internal 54 MB Memory):
Still image: 4000x3000 (RAW: 2 / F: 11 / N: 20), 3984x2656 (RAW: 2 / F: 13 / N: 23)
2992x2992 (RAW: 3 / (F: 15) / N: 27 3264x2448 (N: 30) / 2592x1944 (N: 4
2048x1536 (N: 74) / 1280x960 (N: 133), 640x480 (N: 497)

Storage Capacity (Time) (Internal 54 MB Memory):
Movie:*5 640x480 / 30 frames/sec. (41 sec.), 640x480 / 15 frames/sec. (1 min. 22 sec.),
320×240 / 30 frames/sec. (1 min. 22 sec.), 320x240 / 15 frames/sec (2 min. 40 sec.)

Recording File Format:
Still image: JPEG (Exif Ver. 2.21)DCF*6, RAW (DNG) Movie: AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG Format Compliant)

Other Major Shooting Functions:
CONT. / S-CONT / M-CONT / Self-timer (operation time: approx. 10 sec. / 2 sec.), Interval Shooting (shooting interval: 5 sec. to 3 hr., in increments of 5 sec.)*7, Colour Bracket, B&W (TE), Noise Reduction, Histogram, Grid Guide, Electronic Level, Hot Shoe

Other Major Playback Functions:
Auto Rotate, Grid View, Enlarged View (maximum 16x), Resize

USB 2.0 High-Speed (mini B cable), Mass Storage*8 / Audio Output 1.0Vp-p (75Ω) / Video OUT

Video Signal Format:

Power Source:
Rechargeable Battery (DB60) ×1 / AAA Dry Alkaline Battery ×2 / AAA Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery ×2 / AC Adapter (AC-4c Optional) 3.8V

Battery Consumption:*9
Based on CIPA Standard: DB-60 usage: approx. 350 pictures / AAA alkaline battery usage: approx. 30 pictures*10

111.6 mm (W) × 58.0 mm (H) × 25.0 mm (D) excluding projecting parts

Approx. 208 g (excluding battery, SD memory card, and strap) Accessories: approx. 30 g (battery and strap)

Operating Temperature:

* 1: The shutter speed upper and lower limits vary depending on the shooting mode and flash mode.
* 2: The picture quality mode that can be set varies depending on the image size.
* 3: A JPEG file in Normal 640 or in Fine/Normal mode with the same size as the RAW file is recorded at the same
time. The DNG file format is a RAW image file format and is the standard format of Adobe Systems.
*4: The estimated number of pictures that can be recorded or the estimated recording time.
*5: The maximum movie length that can be recorded at one time is either 90 minutes or 4 GB.
*6: Compatible with DCF and DPOF. DCF is the abbreviation for “Design rule for Camera File system,” a JEITA
standard. (Full compatibility with other devices is not guaranteed.)
*7: When the flash is set to [Flash Off].
*8: Mass storage mode is supported by Windows Me, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac OS9.0-9.2.2, and Mac SX10.1.2-10.5.2. *9: The number of remaining shots is based on the CIPA standard and may vary depending on usage conditions.
This is for reference only.
*10: Using Panasonic AAA alkaline batteries.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ASUS G70, the Gaming Laptop from ASUS

ASUS G70, the Gaming Laptop from ASUS now available for UK Market

The Asus 17-Inch G70 laptop is now available on UK market for 1,999 £ (2520€). Our new gaming Laptop features a 17-Inch LCD screen in WUXGA / WXGA+ resolution, 1GB of RAM, 640GB of HDD, a Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 CPU, two independent GeForce 8700M GT graphics card, Blu-Ray writer, WiFi, Bluetooth, Dolby Home Theater System and TV Tuner.


Next Generation SSD

The next generation of SSD, the fastest ever signed by Mtron!

SEOUL, South Korea-- Mtron Storage Technology Co.,Ltd. (KOSDAQ:046320), a manufacturer of Solid State Drive (SSD) in South Korea, announced today that they were going to reveal new 260 MB/s controller technology at “World IT Show 2008” and OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy in Seoul, Korea from June 18 to 20. Mtron also added that they would launch new SSD products equipped with the new controller technology in early 2009.

Improved from current 4-channel system with the maximum read/write speed of 130/120MB/s, Mtron’s next generation controller technology provides an outstanding performance based on its 8-channel system with the maximum read/write speed of 260/240MB/s(based on SLC) and random write IOPS 8,000(4KB). It is twice faster than current controllers and the fastest speed in the current SSD market by far.

Steve Jeon, CEO of Mtron, said, “This new controller provides not only improved performance, but also it provides high stability and reliability by minimizing errors and instability that a typical flash memory chip has. Based on the superb technology from our 1st generation controller, Mtron will lead the next generation controller industry with the latest technology.”

In addition to the announcement of new controller, Mtron uncovered their new SSD products as well. The new Mtron’s SSD products are Mtron SSD Express Card, Mini PCI-E Card for mobile devices, and Mtron XTM 7500 for highly specialized industries such as aviation, military, and medical industry.

Mtron SSD Express Card and Mini PCI-E Card deliver maximum read/write speed of 110/65MB/s, run its own software for OS installation and booting, and provide the best environment for the system running. Based on Mtron’s innovative technology, these new products are not limited to the current HDD standard sizes, and therefore can be applied in various forms and sizes for different devices and usage.

Mtron SSD XTM 7500 provides an excellent stability and performance against extreme environment such as rapid temperature change from -45℃ to 90℃. In May, this product proved its strong protection against extreme temperature, shock, and vibration when it was chosen as the primary storage for NASA’s Anita Project. It will be available on the market in August


Monday, June 23, 2008

E2200HDA: Full HD LCD From BENQ

E2200HDA: New 21.5-Inch Full HD LCD monitor from BenQ

TAIPEI, TAIWAN, June 20, 2008 – With 1080p rapidly becoming the new standard in display content – in TV programming, movies, console games, and internet – consumers will be looking to BenQ for Full HD displays designed for the complete digital lifestyle experience. In fact, as a globally recognized innovator of IT and CE display products, BenQ leads the emerging Full HD trend with the introduction today of the E2200HDA, the world’s first 21.5” Full HD 16:9 LCD monitor featuring 100% mapping to 1080p content. BenQ will further pioneer 1080p display applications by expanding HD thrill beyond the conventional family room TV into all areas of daily life – to offices, bedrooms, study, and beyond – with the release of five 21.5” and 24” Full HD 16:9 models. Spreading across BenQ’s E Series and M Series LCD displays, the new models will debut later this year, offering value performance and extreme multimedia capability, respectively.

Full HD Home Enjoyment for Work & Play
With 100% dot-for-dot matching to Full HD materials, BenQ’s new 16:9 large screens deliver immaculate rendering of 1080p content such as Blu-ray movies and PS3 and games without distortion, blur or need for resizing. Viewable area is likewise optimized as black bars – an annoyance that plagues 16:10 displays – are eliminated.

“With the introduction of the world’s first 21.5” Full HD 16:9 LCD, BenQ is clearly poised to bring HD splendor beyond just TV,” said Peter Chen, General Manager of BenQ Technology Product Center. “Our upcoming Full HD lineup in sleek LCD form makes 1080p viewing luxury a convenient possibility for all aspects of daily life, reaffirming our core competency in display innovation and our relentless pursuit of bringing enjoyment and quality to life through seamless merging of work and play.”

BenQ’s M Series will offer 24” and 21.5” Full HD models for the ultimate home multimedia experience. Internet chatting is made spontaneous with a 2.0M webcam, integrated speakers, and microphone. Future-proof HDMI and DVI-D (both with HDCP) deliver easy connection to HD gaming consoles, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. Gamers and movie fans are catered too with headphone jack, D-Sub, and super-smooth picture quality via the fast 2ms GTG response time. Senseye+photo Human Vision Technology, a proprietary digital image enhancement engine, additionally fine-tunes depth, clarity, and boldness with five preset modes – Standard, Dynamic, Photo, Movie and sRGB. Exceptional dark detail definition is afforded by a high 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, which automatically adjusts the display’s backlight to optimize light levels for every scene.

E2200HDA: First of a Series, First in the World
As BenQ and the world’s first 21.5” 1080p Full HD LCD display sporting a 1920x1080 native resolution, the E2200HDA delivers uncompromised visual enjoyment of high definition content. The 10,000:1 DCR and 300nit brightness render dark details in razor-sharp clarity along with a rich, vibrant display of 16.7M colors. Senseye+photo instantly optimizes viewing for all home and office applications, while gaming and video are enhanced by integrated speakers, headphone jack, and a fast 5ms response time. Two additional E Series 1080p models will be introduced later and will feature HDMI and DVI-D (both with HDCP), 2ms GTG response time, , and Windows® Vista™ Premium Certification.* 21.5” and 24” sizes offer widescreen viewing that is perfect for enhanced office productivity and small TV replacement.

BenQ 16:9 1080p Full HD LCD displays will be available in China and select countries in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America in Q3.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Stories : Michelin needs you !

Michelin needs you !

If you always wanted to get down and dirty, right in the action of a pure racing week-end, then wait no more and click your way to the Michelin Endurance Expert Contest offering the lucky winners (5) a chance to follow the Le Mans Series as a reporter!

Head to and the Michelin Endurance Blog to try your luck!
(fluent English required)


Sunday Stories : New Mazda Concept Car to Premiere at Moscow

New Mazda Concept Car to Premiere at Moscow International Automobile Salon

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda will present an all-new show car at this year’s Moscow International Automobile Salon. The concept is a sporty, compact crossover SUV designed especially for the Russian market.

The Moscow show car is the latest concept to be developed using the new design direction called Nagare – following in the footsteps of Nagare, Ryuga, Hakaze, Taiki and Furai. Nagare, which means “flow” in Japanese, represents a new approach to expressing movement in car design, taking as inspiration the flow patterns of natural elements, such as the wind. The design theme of Mazda’s concept for the 2008 Moscow motor show is “crosswinds”.

Russia is one of Europe’s fastest-growing markets and is rapidly becoming the region’s largest automobile market. SUVs are particularly popular in Russia, with a segment share of about 20 percent. Mazda’s latest concept car is designed to appeal particularly to younger SUV owners who have a strong sense of style.

The Moscow show car, the name of which will be announced in due course, again showcases the depth of creativity within Mazda design. In February 2008, the Mazda Design team received the coveted Grand Prix du Design at the Festival Automobile International in Paris.

The Moscow International Automobile Salon media days are on August 26 and 27, whereas August 28 caters for industry and trade specialists. The show is open to the public from August 29 through September 7. The new show car will be unveiled at the Mazda press conference at 10:15 on August 26 at the Mazda stand.


Sunday Stories : Mugen FREED


Mugen is back, always close to the Honda brand name, with small cocktail pieces to adjust the Japanese "mini-van Freed".

As always, it comes with some esthetics changes, highlighted on the white model, rear bumper, as well as exhaust and rear spoiler wings have been changed…

The relooking concerns also the suspension and shock absorbers. The brakes have also been modified even if, as always, not a single word on any engine’s modifications ... although Mugen is expert.

This is a “pure sugar” Mugen, which should pleased Japanese fans!


Sunday Stories : Subaru Exiga

Subaru Exiga, Officialy Official!

The new 7-seater from Subaru, the Exiga, is finally official! Announced in May by Subaru's clever teaser, since yesterday in Japan we are able to enjoy this new vehicle. More sport oriented than being a true family car.

As a first for Subaru, not only are they capitalizing on their wagon SUV experience, but also their sport oriented car experience to bring us a new breed of vehicle, which should be more appealing to the younger generation... 

Like the new Impreza or Tribeca, the Exigea as for us, Europeans living in Japan, a taste of the American look. This may not be the best choice and has been criticized in the past with the Impreza's arguably good looking design.

In Japan the Exiga will be available with a 2.0L engine and a 2.0L turbo charged engine, with of course Subaru's state in art AWD system... More information below in the Official Press Release.

FHI Unveils New Model Subaru EXIGA, a Seven-Seater for Panorama Touring

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, today announced the debut of its new Subaru EXIGA in Japan. The EXIGA went on sale nationwide through Subaru dealerships today.

Based on the concept of a seven-seater with panoramic visibility for the touring experience, the EXIGA has been developed to provide a safe and pleasant journey for all occupants. Capitalizing on its accumulated know-how from building wagons and crossover SUVs, Subaru has succeeded in creating open and comfortable interior space for all the passengers to easily engage in conversation and share the experience of touring enhanced by dramatic wide-angle views through the windows.

Press Release
Major Features

1. Packaging

The EXIGA has realized ideal proportions that provide the optimal body size for better handling, as well as ample interior space through its carefully calculated measurements of the height, width, length, wheelbase, floor size, and roof design.

Front and rear visibility is maximized by the creative design and positioning of pillars and windows.

The three rows of seats are laid out at three different heights, like gradually elevated theater seating, placing the first and second rows slightly lower than the third to allow all passengers better outside views.

A large panoramic glass roof fully covers area above the second row of seats and enhances the openness of the interior. The glass roof is available as an option on all models except the 2.0i.

Large rear door openings with wide plastic door sills are designed to facilitate ingress and egress, and the rear doors also open nearly 90 degrees for easy access to the third-row seating.

A double-wishbone rear suspension with reduced projection into the interior makes room for comfortable third-row seats and a wide luggage compartment.

The subframe between the rear suspension and the chassis helps to reduce vehicle noise and absorb vibrations from the road.

By using the newly designed resin fuel tank and optimizing the body frame structure, the floor has been made flat to provide spacious legroom for passengers in the third row.

2. Design
[Exterior design]

The EXIGA exterior design expresses the integration of the utility of a seven-seater and elegant styling.

Two distinctively different front grille designs are available. The naturally aspirated models possess style that highlights refinement and simplicity with flowing chrome-plated contours. The design for the turbo model stresses a sporty and muscular impression by adopting a powerful wing-shape embellishment in dark plating on a metal mesh background.

Headlamps are designed to provide depth from the front view. With a blue-tinted lens placed in the middle of the lamp, the design accentuates boldness and presence.

Each of the four EXIGA model types is equipped with distinctive wheels and individually designed spokes.

Eight exterior colors are available.
[Interior design]

Decorative insets with a horizontally flowing pattern from the center panel of the dashboard to the door trim add spaciousness and a quality look to the interior. Rich and refined interior design is further accentuated by the center panel, which combines wood and metal finishes, as well as by the indirect blue LED light installed on the overhead console, center tray and some foot areas.

Ivory tone that accentuates openness and light, and black tone, which highlights both sportiness and elegance, are available as interior colors.

The seats are newly designed to firmly support the occupants and reduce fatigue, even during a long drive, and the seat cushions are made thick to effectively absorb vibration and provide comfort.

The meter module on the instrument panel is distinctively designed with the meter background faces illuminated in blue to make the white dials clearly readable. The Sport Luminescent Meter, outlined with chrome-plated meter rings, is available on the 2.0GT, 2.0i-L, and 2.0i-S.

3. Utility

By removing the headrests, the front seatbacks can be tilted back flat to provide room for occupants to lie down.

The left and right seats of the second row independently slide back and forth in a range of 180 mm. The seatbacks fold down easily with one-hand operation of the walk-in mechanism, allowing easy access to the third row seats.

The third-row seats employ reclining mechanisms for more relaxed travel. The seatbacks fold down flat with easy operation to provide expanded cargo space in the back of the vehicle.

Hooks for hanging bags, retractable hooks and 12-volt power outlet are provided in the cargo area.

Thanks to reduced projection into the interior of the wheel housing and rear suspension, the cargo floor has been made flat. The cargo space offers two tiers. There is a layer under the cargo floor board that offers more space for storing small items. Even tall items like baby strollers can be placed vertically in that space without the need to fold them and lay them on the floor.

Courtesy lamps are mounted inside of all doors for better egress/ingress at night.

Blue lights illuminate the inside of the instrumental panel recesses, the center console, and the foot of the first and second row seats. They are not only useful at night but serve as elegant and premium quality décor.

4. Powertrain

(1) 2.0-liter DOHC Engine (2.0i, 2.0i-L, 2.0i-S)

The use of a redesigned DOHC cylinder head and the active valve control system (AVCS) promotes excellent environmental performance. Also better fuel economy is realized through adoption of the regular gasoline engine.

With the optimization of the diameter and length of the intake manifold, and the adoption of the equal length/constant pulsation independent exhaust system, the engine’s intake and exhaust performance has been elevated.

Two catalytic convertors have been placed in tandem. The layout enables the convertors to quickly heat up, which facilitates catalytic activation during engine startup and improves on emission reduction efficiency.

By expanding exhaust capacity with the twin mufflers, air flow resistance inside the mufflers is reduced, and excellent engine output characteristics and noise reduction are realized.

The electric control sensor system helps reduce engine load and further improve fuel economy by controlling electric generation according to driving conditions.
(2) 2.0-liter DOHC Turbo Engine (2.0GT)

A lightweight, resin-based intake manifold is used. The inner walls of the manifold are smooth and less resistant to the intake flow, elevating intake efficiency.

The turbo charger was exclusively developed for the EXIGA. Optimization of its A/R and compressor, as well as a redesign of its turbine vane, have distinctively improved low-end torque and made powerful and responsive acceleration possible.

Also adopted is a secondary air system that forces air into the exhaust port to burn out any gasoline remaining in it. The system helps eliminate harmful substances when the powertrain is still cool, and it promotes early activation of a catalytic converter.

Through optimization of the construction of the intercooler, the pressure loss is kept at a minimum to improve cooling efficiency.

The electric control sensor system helps reduce engine load and further improve fuel economy.

5. Drivetrain and Chassis

Lightweight and compact 4-speed AT with the SPORTSHIFT gear selection is standard on all 2.0 liter naturally aspirated models. By optimizing the final gear ratio, as well as through reducing friction among part assemblies, driving performance has been enhanced and fuel economy improved.

5-speed AT with the SPORTSHIFT gear selection is standard on 2.0 liter turbo models. The down-shift blipping control is added to enhance smooth gear change response when shifting down in manual mode.

The SI-Dive (Subaru Intelligent Drive) system on the 2.0GT model offers three different modes of driving for the driver to enjoy: Intelligent; Sport; and Sport Sharp.

The Active Torque Split AWD system is mounted on all naturally aspirated engine models. The turbo model comes with Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) system. Both systems distribute optimal torque to the wheels with the firm grip and traction, providing unrivalled vehicle stability.

Integrating robust body structure with finely tuned chassis elements, all models feature Subaru DC3, which ensures outstanding handling and vehicle stability as well as superb riding comfort.

The vehicle is equipped with a strut-type front suspension, which is made lightweight and resilient. Newly designed cross-members and stabilizers yield excellent steering response.

A double-wishbone rear suspension with optimized suspension geometry settings provides exceptional traction and vehicle stability, as well as riding comfort, even at full occupancy.

All models employ four-wheel ABS disc brakes with EBD (Electric Brake-force Distribution) for superb braking performance. The Brake Assist system and a brake booster with unique tie- rod design appropriately maximize braking control.

Two types of tires, 205/60R16 and 215/50R17, are available. Both are capable of balancing various vehicle elements, including stability, braking, comfort, and mileage.

(SPORTSHIFT is the trademark of Prodrive Ltd.)

6. Body Construction and Safety

The EXIGA uses an advanced form of Subaru’s proprietary Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame Body Structure. Through streamlined body construction and the extensive use of high-tensile steel, the new model has achieved high body rigidity and light weight.

A cowl stay enhancement is used to connect the front side frame and A pillar, and supportive cross-members have been adopted to further improve steering response and increase vehicle stability.

The EXIGA, with its advanced frame construction, has realized high levels of safety and crash- worthiness through effectively absorbing and dispersing crash impact in frontal, side-, or rear- impact crashes.

By enhancing impact absorption in the front bumper and incorporating structural changes to the hood, the new model addresses safety features for pedestrians and other vehicles in collisions.

The front wiper system features a new uniform-pressure, fin-shaped design that creates downforce to prevent blade lift-off during high-speed driving.

Dual SRS (supplemental restraint system) air bags are standard on all models. SRS side air bags and curtain air bags that protect the third-row occupants are manufacturer’s options.

All pillar trim adopts impact-absorbing structures. To reduce the risk of whiplash injuries in a rear collision, the seatbacks employ new impact-absorbing designs.

A collapsible brake pedal is available on all models to reduce the risk of foot injuries in frontal collisions

7. Environmental Considerations

The EXIGA utilizes interior materials and adhesives that release much smaller amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Such VOCs as formaldehyde and toluene, which are believed to cause irritation in the nose and throat, have been largely reduced.

Highly recyclable, integrated PP (polypropylene) materials are used in the dashboard, door trim, and other parts. Recycled materials from PET bottles are also used.

The Info-Eco mode prompts the Info-Eco Indicator on the instrumentation to light up when running on low fuel consumption, encouraging mileage-conscious driving. In addition, The Eco Gauge, which promotes driving in an energy-saving manner is available on the 2.0i-L, 2.0i-S, and the 2.0GT.

8. Others

Ventilation for the rear seats is placed on top of the dashboard, effectively circulating air to the third row of seats. Standard on all models, the ventilation system is extremely quiet with greatly reduced operating and airflow noise, yet it efficiently cools the entire cabin.

The air conditioning system on the 2.0i-L, 2.0i-S and 2.0GT models offers a function to allow temperature adjustments independently on the left and right sides of the seats.

The combined audio system of CD player and AM/FM tuner, compatible with MP3 and WMA* formats, and an HDD navigation system with audio capability and a rearview camera (compatible with Subaru G-Book Alpha telematics service) are optional on all models.

*WMA is the registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

A keyless entry system with a push-start button is a manufacturer’s option.
Major specifications of EXIGA

* Overall length: 4,740mm, Overall width: 1,775mm, Overall height: 1,660mm, Wheelbase: 2,750mm
* 2.0i, 2.0i-L, 2.0i-S:
* 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve, Horizontally-Opposed, 4-cylinder, gasoline engine
* Max. output (net): 109kW(148PS)/6,000rpm
* Max. torque (net): 191N.m(19.5kg.m)/3,200rpm
* AWD system: Active Torque Split AWD system
* 215/50R17 Tires with aluminum alloy wheels (2.0i-S)
* 205/60R16 Tires with aluminum alloy wheels (2.0i-L)
* 205/60R16 Tires with full wheel caps (2.0i)
* 2.0GT:
* 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve, intercooled, turbocharged, Horizontally-Opposed, 4-cylinder, gasoline engine
* Max. output (net): 165kW(225PS)/5,600rpm
* Max. torque (net): 326N.m(33.2kg.m)/4,400rpm
* AWD system: Variable Torque Distribution system
* 215/50R17 Tires with aluminum alloy wheels

The new model represents Subaru’s latest proposal for a new type of multi-passenger vehicle, built on Subaru’s strengths in vehicle stability, low noise, and quality ride —all realized by Subaru’s Horizontally-Opposed engine layout and the Subaru Dynamic Chassis Control Concept (Subaru DC3).

Subaru EXIGA 2.0GT

Development Concept: a Seven-Seater for Panorama Touring

Seven passengers

Despite a body size that’s convenient for maneuvering, the EXIGA comfortably accommodates up to seven occupants, ensuring ample space and a pleasant ride for each passenger. Excellent utility and comfort have been added through the adoption of new designs for better visibility, ingress/egress, and cargo space.


A bright, open interior space has been created for passengers in any seat to enjoy the scenery outside. The vehicle’s low noise level allows all passengers to easily converse.


In addition to high levels of safety, both active and passive, the EXIGA blends high performance and smooth handling with high-quality riding comfort. The vehicle also offers excellent environmental performance and fuel economy.

FHI offers four EXIGA models:

* 2.0i is the basic model with selected standard equipment, priced in a more affordable range
* 2.0i-L offers high quality finishes and expanded standard equipment
* 2.0i-S is a sporty model with a naturally aspirated engine, featuring dynamic powerful styling and interior designs
* 2.0GT is a grand touring car that combines potent powertrain performance with environmental considerations


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fujitsu F706i Waterproof Wonder

Fujitsu Unleashes Its New Waterproof Wonder! The F706i Hands-on

The nice team over at Fujitsu invited us to the launch of their cool new waterproof wonder, the F706i series. And what's a better place than a swimming pool announce the launch of their new waterproof phone!
 Our little wonder is available in four colors, and features on it's front end a new LED panel that provides important information regarding the phones operation, (time, lock...) and displays a nice pattern (design figures with 50 different colors), the 2in1 phone option (you can have two telephone numbers on one device), HSDPA support, 3G WorldRing (can be used overseas), the DCMXiD (electronic wallet), PC web browser (a real internet browser).

Of course our F706i features a 1Seg TV tuner and a 2Mpix camera with image stabilizer. All these nice and nifty features are found in a slim body (16.9mm) and with a large 2.7” screen...

Available only in Japan.

Let’s enjoy the magnificent pictures taken by David who seems to have had a really, REALLY good time at the launch... Lord, next time I'll go too! As long as the girls wear swim suits..