Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

California Approves New Standards on Energy-Hungry TVs

From the LA Times...
The California Energy Commission votes 5-0 in favor of the nation's first efficiency regulations for televisions of up to 58 inches sold in the state. The stricter rules take effect Jan. 1, 2011.

Starting in 13 months, new TV sets will have to meet energy-efficiency standards that slash the amount of electricity they consume. The regulations also will lower owners' monthly electric bills.

The first-in-the-nation criteria, approved unanimously Wednesday by the five-member California Energy Commission, is aimed at cutting the amount of electricity used by new high-definition TVs of up to 58 inches by a third starting Jan. 1, 2011. More stringent rules that take effect Jan. 1, 2013, would create a cumulative 50% power savings.

The standards don't apply to any of the approximately 35 million TV sets currently in use in California or units sold in the coming year.

"It's absolutely undeniable the benefits that this has for the people of California," said Commissioner James Boyd, an economist and former chief executive of the California Air Resources Board. "Efficiency is the cheapest and simplest way to save our citizens money, to provide a good quality of life and to drive our economy."

Since the sale of flat-panel televisions began to rocket early in the decade, TV-related power usage has more than tripled to 10 billion kilowatt-hours per year, accounting for nearly 10% of residential electricity consumption, said Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld, a nuclear physicist and UC Berkeley professor.

Opponents called the new rules unnecessary and overbearing, and California consumers gave them decidedly mixed views Wednesday.

Many buyers say they welcome rules that would allow them to enjoy super-sharp pictures without feeling guilty about contributing to global warming.

"It saves energy, which saves the bottom line for the consumer, and for the big picture it helps save the environment," said Younger Hong, 35, a Web developer and teacher. Shopping at a Best Buy store in West Hollywood for a 40-plus-inch TV, he added, "TVs are one of the biggest energy consumers in the house; it's a good start."

But John Mayberry, an audio-video control systems engineer in San Marino, questioned the commission's priorities. "Their prioritization of what to do seems askew," he said. The state could find much more energy savings by going after waste in the antiquated electric transmission system, he said. Other critics have denounced the TV regulations as just one more instance of meddling by "nanny government."

The new regulations were fought by the Consumer Electronics Assn., a leading trade group based in Arlington, Va. "Simply put, this is a bad policy: dangerous for the California economy, dangerous for technology innovation and dangerous for consumer freedom," the group said.  In a statement, the association argued that the regulations would lead to higher prices, lost retail jobs and a decline in state tax revenue.

Full article:,0,4027697.story

Movie Popcorn Standards Upheld

In these trying times, the health freaks are even going after movie popcorn.   Fortunately, some stalwarts have maintained the old standards.... as it has been since the beginning of time, popcorn remains great nutritional value, chock full of life giving calories...

 "A medium-sized popcorn and medium soda at the nation's largest movie chain pack the nutritional equivalent of three Quarter Pounders topped with 12 pats of butter, according to a report released today by the advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.",0,4003634.story

Apple Start Up Memorabilia

Interesting link:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Need a Good Chuckle Today?

The Chinese are suing Microsoft over software Intellectual Property rights....

Assuming of course someone in China actually paid Microsoft along the way...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How to Save $12k on Your System Cost

In these tough economic times, the MIT Oracle V1.3 Biwire cables at $29,999 per eight foot pair may seem a bit over the top. 

Perhaps you could go to their economy model, the V2.3. These list for only $17,999 per 8 foot pair for a twelve grand savings.

I don't make this up.

Nice Overview of Pico Video Projectors

Thursday, November 12, 2009

UN to RIAA- Stop with the Downloading Fines!

Hillary Rosen must be so proud today...  her legacy lives on...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Altec Lansing Name Sold Again

Plantronics dumps the name for $18 million.   The sad saga continues.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where Did That Shot Come From?

Shotspotter.   GPS tracking for gunshots.  Just the thing for the innercity.

Friday, November 6, 2009

ESS AMT-1 Speaker Anniversary Production Run

I was down at the manufacturer a couple of weeks ago and they're planning a limited production run of 500 pairs of ESS AMT-1 speakers in Jaunary, which featured the Heil Air Motion Transformer.

The Heil driver was an electrostatic type kind, is based on the principle "which makes air compress and emit and reproduces sound", and was developed by Dr. Oscar Heil of the Heil science laboratory in the United States.

This unit has about 5.5kg ferrite magnet and structure which placed the element into the magnetic field constituted by lamination pole piece. This element is the shape of accordion pleats which the covering with the optimal dumping characteristic of a macromolecule can expand and contract freely.

The electric conduction belt is embedded on the pleat, the pleat which faced each other when signal current flowed pays well, and air in it is compressed and emitted. The next pleat spreads conversely and inhales air from the opposite side. As for the remaining half-cycle, this motion operates completely conversely in a half-cycle.

This pleat is summarized to 17, when it is made into area, it is large in 2 and about 230mm, and it has acquired efficiency higher than a horn loudspeaker by operation which moreover compresses and emits air.

The characteristic in which the heil driver was excellent with this structure has been acquired, and also sound was diffused by the pole piece from which the front and the rear surface are completely symmetrical structures, and have become a wide angle, and the extensive directivity near indirectivity is realized.

Moreover, the element part has realized 20 microseconds and a very early standup at 5kHz on the structure by the covering (0.012mm) of a low-mass macromolecule.

Ouch! $200 to Use Your Apple Mini DisplayPort Input?

So you've spent $2k to get a fancy quad core 27" iMac with that new mini DisplayPort input connector.

If you want to use the display with an external source it'll cost you.  Turns our you need to buy an Atlona DVI to Mini DisplayPort adaptor to use it- add another $179.   If you use an AppleTV you'll need a scalar as well.