Thu, Jun 15, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Technology Review


The Revolution also simulates surround-sound in standard stereo headphones. There are no buttons to press or dials to twirl -- you simply plug in your headphones, connect to the MP3 player and go.

All your favorites, all the time

With the LG Electronics LX550 Fusic phone, every song you request is certain to play on the radio, and you don't even have to call a station. The phone can transmit songs from its memory card to any FM radio.

The Fusic, available from Sprint, also plays video and can receive on-demand music, TV or subscription radio services over Sprint's high-speed data network.

The phone has other features that are by now expected on a jazzy handset. It has speakerphone capability, Bluetooth wireless to sync contacts and calendars with your computer and a 1.3-megapixel camera with built-in flash.

Music, video and subscription radio can be purchased a la carte, or bundled with some phone plans. Songs from the Sprint Music Store are US$2.50 each. You can also transfer your MP3s onto the phone's 64-megabyte Micro SD card.

Be prepared for at least one tech disappointment: The phone can't transmit your Sirius radio stream to an FM receiver, only songs stored on the memory card.

Today's digital cameras have enough megapixels to render sharp pictures, but they can still produce blurry photos when used without a tripod at slow shutter speeds or in zoom close-ups.

Less jitter and also less cost

The Pentax K100D, a single-lens reflex camera, has a 6.1-megapixel image sensor that moves to counteract the jitter that results in the blur.

The sensor sits on a plate equipped with electromagnets and surrounded by permanent magnets. Gyroscopic sensors detect movement and send signals to the electro-magnets, keeping the sensor level while the rest of the camera moves.

Pentax is not the first to offer shake-reduction technology, but putting the mechanism in the camera body means that shake reduction works with any Pentax interchangeable lenses made in the last 30 years.

That also saves money. Nikon's entry-level SLR, the 6.1-megapixel D50, retails for about US$550, for example, and its least expensive lens with image stabilization retails for an additional US$500. Pentax will begin selling the K100D in mid-July with a beginner-grade 18-55mm lens for a suggested price of US$700.

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